TUNIS: Tunisia was under a state of emergency on Wednesday (Nov 25) after the bombing of a presidential guard bus killed at least 13 people, the latest attack in a country plagued by extremist violence.President Beji Caid Essebsi and other members of the National Security Council were meeting to discuss crisis measures following the blast on Tuesday in the heart of Tunis.A 9pm to 5am curfew has been imposed in the capital following the attack, along with a new nationwide state of emergency, which had been lifted less than two months previously.The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bombing in a busy area in the heart of Tunis, a few hundred metres (yards) from the interior ministry, which came as the 26th Carthage Film Festival was in full swing. It said a Tunisian suicide bomber named “Abou Abdallah al-Tounissi” carried out the attack.The militant group has previously staged attacks in the North African country, often seen as a rare success story of the Arab Spring after its 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Twelve presidential guards were killed and 20 other people were wounded in Tuesday’s blast, including four civilians, according to a preliminary toll from the health ministry.The remains of a 13th person found at the scene have not yet been identified, officials said. “It could be that this is a terrorist,” Health Minister Said Aidi told national television.According to unconfirmed reports in Tunisian media, the blast was caused by a man wearing an explosives belt. Some presidential guards expressed concern that not enough was being done to protect them from attacks.”For years this place has been our gathering point but they didn’t think to change it although we are the first to be targeted,” one guard said of the site of the bombing.The transport ministry announced following the blast that security would be reinforced in the country’s ports and only passengers would be allowed to enter Tunis’s international airport.A psychological unit was set up for the victims’ families.