Five detained as suicide bomber dies in Tunisian tourist resort attack


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The Independent Online

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A suicide bomber has blown himself up in the tourist resort of Sousse, the first such assault in more than a decade in a country now battling Islamist militants who have been boosted by chaos in neighbouring Libya.

No one else was hurt and police foiled another attack when they arrested a would-be bomber at the tomb of former president Habib Bourguiba in Monastir. They detained five other people in Sousse thought to be plotting assaults, security sources said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the Islamist-led government said all the arrested men had admitted to being members of the militant Ansar al-Sharia movement, which it says is linked to al-Qa’ida’s North Africa affiliate.

“The two suicide bombers are radical Islamist jihadists. They are Tunisians, but they had been in a neighbouring country,” said the Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui, without specifying the country.

The first bomber had tried to enter the Riadh Palms Hotel with a case. Turned away, he ran on to the empty beach and blew himself up, a security source said. 

The bombing is bad news for tourism in Tunisia, which attracted 5.8 million visitors to its beaches and desert tours in 2012.