Bomber hits Tunisia resort

Updated 31 October 2013
0

Bomber hits Tunisia resort

TUNIS: A man blew himself up Wednesday in front of a popular seaside hotel as authorities foiled a possibly related assault at the mausoleum of modern Tunisia’s secular founder, the Interior Ministry said. The attack was believed to be the country’s first suicide bombing.
Witnesses told Tunisian media that the suicide bomber appeared to be about to enter the Riadh Palm hotel in Sousse, about 150 km south of the capital, Tunis, when he exploded. The Interior Ministry said that no one else was injured and no property was damaged. It said the bomber was a Tunisian man wearing an explosive belt.
The city is being searched for possible accomplices, said ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui.
In the foiled attack on the mausoleum in nearby Monastir, an 18-year-old man followed a group of tourists into the mausoleum of modern Tunisia’s founder, Habib Bourguiba, carrying a backpack full of TNT. He attempted to distract security by tossing a firework before being subdued, said Hicham Gharbi, spokesman for the presidential guard, which patrols the site.
“He will be questioned to learn his motives and those who ordered the attack,” he told local radio. Bourguiba, Tunisia’s first post-independence president, was a fierce secularist and has long been hated by hard-liners.
While the ministry said both men belonged to the same extremist group, it is not certain that the attacks were coordinated or masterminded by one large organization. A shift in tactics by Tunisia’s extremists to the mass targeting of civilians would have serious implications for a country struggling with its democratic transition.


Two police officers killed after terror suspect blows himself up near Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo

Updated 19 February 2019
0

Two police officers killed after terror suspect blows himself up near Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo

  • The blast also killed the bomber and injured three other policemen
  • Egypt’s tourism industry has been struggling to recover from attacks and domestic instability

CAIRO: Two police officers were killed when a terror suspect blew himself up after he was surrounded by police near Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo on Monday.

The blast in the crowded Darb Al-Ahmar district also killed the bomber and injured three other policemen, the interior ministry said.

“As security surrounded the man and was set to arrest and control him, an explosive device in his possession went off,” the ministry said in a press statement.

The explosion took place after police chased the suspect who they believe had planted a bomb near a security staff close to a mosque in Giza on Friday, the statement said. Security officers had been able to defuse that device.

Monday’s explosion that took place near Al Azhar mosque at the heart of ancient Islamic Cairo damaged several shops.

“My shop’s front and windows were destroyed,” said Kareem Sayed Awad, a barbershop owner. “Not only that, but people have died. This is a tourist area and such incidents affect it.”

Egypt’s tourism industry has been struggling to recover from attacks and domestic instability that has hit the country in the years following a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

In December three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide died when a homemade bomb exploded on their bus on the outskirts of Cairo, near the famed pyramids in Giza.

Authorities have been seeking to lure tourists back by touting new archaeological discoveries and bolstering security around archaeological sites and in airports.

Tourism has slowly started picking up. The official statistics agency says tourist arrivals in Egypt in 2017 reached 8.3 million, up from 5.3 million the year before.

But that figure was still far short of the record influx in 2010 when over 14 million visitors flocked to the country.

Egypt has also for years been battling an Islamist insurgency, which deepened following military’s ousting of Islamist president Muhammad Mursi in 2013.

The attacks have been mainly concentrated in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula but have also spread to the mainland.

In February 2018, security forces launched a major anti-militant operation focused on the Sinai Peninsula, aimed at wiping out a local affiliate of the Daesh group.

On Saturday, an attack on an Egyptian army checkpoint in north Sinai left 15 soldiers dead or wounded and seven of the suspected jihadist assailants killed, according to the military.
 

(With AFP)