Fethi Belaid / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images
CAIRO-A woman blew herself up in the center of the Tunisian capital on Monday, reported state media and shook the North African nation, which has become a symbol of political unrest in recent years.
The explosion injured eight policemen and one civilian, according to the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior. The explosion took place on Avenida Habib Bourguiba in Tunis, an iconic pedestrian street in the heart of the city.
Video images transmitted from the scene showed the police dragging barricades into the city, pushing back crowds along the tree-lined boulevard. The Interior Ministry described the explosion as a suicide bombing and said that the injured had been transported to hospitals, according to the official TAP news agency.
So far, no group has taken responsibility for the attack. The Home Office said that the 30-year-old woman who blew herself up was not known to the security authorities as an extremist.
Tunisia is the only country that emerged from the uprising of the Arab Spring, which by the end of 2010 seemed to start a stable democracy, but in recent years the country has faced a stagnant economy and a series of security challenges.
The country was one of the largest recruitment sources for the Islamic State as the extremist group made up parts of Iraq, Syria, and Libya in 2014 and 2015.
The Islamic State has become more deadly in its responsibility for a wave in recent years Attacks in Tunisia. Its fighters killed dozens of foreign tourists and Tunisians during two separate attacks in 2015, one at the Bardo Museum in Tunis and one at a beach resort in Sousse
Militant attacks in Tunisia have slowed as the Islamic State is under attack from one US-led military coalition across the region.
Write to Jared Malsin at [email protected]