Tunisia president declares war on terrorism after blast

Bouazza Ben Bouazza
Associated Press

Tunis, Tunisia — Tunisia’s president has declared a state of emergency throughout the country and a curfew in the capital after an attack on a bus carrying his presidential guard that killed 12 people.

Beji Caid Essebsi said in a televised address that the country is at “war against terrorism” and called for international cooperation against extremists who have staged several attacks around the world in recent weeks.

Essebsi said “I want to reassure the Tunisian people that we will vanquish terrorism.” He wasn’t in the bus when it was attacked Tuesday in the center of the capital.

His office says he is cancelling a trip to Switzerland that had been scheduled for Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry says the explosion was a “terrorist act.”

The blast occurred on the tree-lined avenue in the center of the capital, Tunis. The explosion came 10 days after authorities increased the security level in the capital and deployed security forces in unusually high numbers.

Earlier this month, Tunisian authorities announced the dismantling of a cell it said had planned terror attacks at police stations and hotels in the seaside city of Sousse, about 95 miles southeast of Tunis.

Tunisia’s tourism industry has been hit hard this year following extremist attacks. Shootings at a luxury beach hotel in Sousse last June killed 38 people, mostly tourists, while in March an attack by Islamist extremists at Tunisia’s famed Bardo museum near the capital killed 22 people.