Tunisia: At least 12 dead after blast hits bus carrying presidential guards

TUNIS, Tunisia,  Several people were killed Tuesday after a bus carrying presidential guards exploded in the capital of Tunisia.

A masked Tunisian soldier stands guard near the Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Port el Kantaoui, in Sousse, south of the capital Tunis, on June 29 following an attack claimed by the Islamic State. On Tuesday, an explosion on a bus carrying presidential guards reportedly killed at least 12 people in central Tunis. Photo by Khaled Nasraoui/UPI | License Photo
A masked Tunisian soldier stands guard near the Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Port el Kantaoui, in Sousse, south of the capital Tunis, on June 29 following an attack claimed by the Islamic State. On Tuesday, an explosion on a bus carrying presidential guards reportedly killed at least 12 people in central Tunis. Photo by Khaled Nasraoui/UPI | License Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least 12 people were killed in the blast, which reportedly occurred on a busy streetin central Tunis.

The Independent reported the explosion went off near the headquarters of the Democratic Constitutional Rally, or RCD party, which was ousted in the 2011 Arab Spring.

The source of the explosion was unknown but the BBC quoted a presidential source as saying it was an attack.

President Beji Caid Essebsi has declared a state of emergency, saying Tunisia is in “a state of war.”

Regional militant groups have in the past targeted civilians and government personnel in the country, including in March when gunmen killed more than 20 people at the Bardo National Museum.

The incident comes one week after Tunisian security forces foiled a plot by suspected Islamist militants to attack a beach resort in Sousse, on the country’s eastern Mediterranean coast.

A prior June attack near the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, later claimed by the Islamic State, ended after gunmen killed at least 37 people

By Fred Lambert

UPI