Police in Tunisia shoot dead three suspected militants after officer stabbed

Reuters , Sunday 6 Sep 2020

Attackers with knives killed a Tunisian National Guard officer and wounded another before three assailants were shot dead

Police in Tunisia chased and shot dead three suspected Islamist militants after they attacked two policemen in the coastal city of Sousse on Sunday, a security official told Reuters.

One of the policeman died in the attack in Sousse's Kantaoui district, the official said.

Five years ago an Islamic State militant shot dead 39 foreigners on a beach in Sousse, triggering an exodus of tourists and severely damaging its economy.

Since then Tunisia has grown more effective in preventing and responding to attacks, foreign diplomats say, but sleeper cells still pose a real threat to the country, especially with the return of jihadists from Syria, Iraq and Libya.

"Terrorists stabbed two policemen at El Kantaoui district, in Sousse. One of them died. The police pursued the terrorists and killed them," Houssem Jbebli, a National Guard spoksman, told Reuters.

Subsequently the Interior Ministry said the suspects used their car to ram the policemen.

Kantaoui is a district full of hotels currently empty as tourists stay away during the coronavirus pandemic. The last serious attack in Tunisia was in March, when two militants on a motorbike blew themselves up outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, killing a policeman and wounding several others.

Hundreds of Tunisians have traveled to Iraq, Syria or Libya in recent years to join Islamic State, and in 2016 members of the group rampaged across the border with Libya and fought the army in a border town, but were repulsed.

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