A bomb exploded on a bus transporting Tunisia’s presidential guard in central Tunis on Tuesday and killed at least 12 people and wounded 11, the interior ministry said.
A security source at the site of the explosion said “most of the agents who were on the bus are dead.” The blast was likely caused by a bomber detonating explosives inside the vehicle, a presidential source said
The explosion, described as an “attack” by presidential spokesman Moez Sinaoui, struck on the capital’s Mohamed V Avenue, a ministry official told AFP.
An AFP journalist reported seeing the partly burnt out shell of the bus, with police, ambulances and fire trucks at the scene.
A bank employee working nearby reported hearing a large explosion and seeing the bus on fire.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Tunisia has been plagued by Islamist violence since the 2011 overthrow of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
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 150 kilometers (95 miles) southeast of Tunis.
Two attacks earlier this year claimed by the Islamic State group targeted foreigners — at the National Bardo Museum in March, killing 21 tourists and a policeman, and at a resort hotel in Sousse in June, killing 38 tourists.
Dozens of members of the security forces have also been killed by extremists since 2011.