This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates as more information becomes available.
Two suicide bombers explosives across the street from the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia on Friday killing at least one police officer.
The two bombers drove a motorcycle at a parked police patrol vehicle near the embassy around 11 a.m. local time and detonated their explosives, the Tunisian Interior Ministry said in a statement reported by the New York Times. One officer was killed and four more were reported injured while a civilian in the vicinity was also injured.
The U.S. Embassy in Tunis took to twitter to warn of the explosions and the heightened emergency activity and asked people to avoid the area.
Emergency personnel are responding to an explosion that occurred near the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. Please avoid the area and monitor local media for updates.
— U.S. Embassy Tunis (@usembassytunis) March 6, 2020
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack took place in the business district of Lac II, where several other countries have also placed their embassies.
Tunisia was the first “Arab Springs” country and in 2011 brought about the resignation of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in pursuit of more democratic governance. Tunisia. under its new government, eventually became the target of three major Islamic State attacks in 2015 and the country has been in a state of emergency throughout the ensuing years.
The U.S. Embassy in Tunis saw protesters attack and ransack the compound in September, 2012, around the same timeframe as the deadly attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. The Tunisian protests, which also turned deadly, where said to be the result of a video that depicted the Prophet Mohammad and insulted Muslim religious practitioners, Reuters reported at the time.
Tunisia also became a major terrorism recruitment spot. The country saw one of the highest number of any country to see its people become militants for Al Qaeda and ISIS. At least 5,500 Tunisian citizens went to fight in Syria and Iraq in recent years. As many as 1,500 Tunisians went on to fight in Libya.
Tunisia has reportedly continued to see an influx and outflow of militant activity through its porous borders with neighboring Algeria and Libya.