Tunisia: President improving, to be discharged from hospital soon

Tunisia: President improving, to be discharged from hospital soon

A pair of suicide bombers struck nearly simultaneously in the Tunisian capital of Tunis today, killing at least one police officer and wounding several others, including passers-by, according to the Interior Ministry.

One of Essebsi's advisers told Reuters during the day that he was in a "very critical" condition.

Essebsi has been a prominent figure in Tunisia since the overthrow of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, which was followed by uprisings against autocratic leaders across the Middle East.

Meanwhile on Friday, the day after the attack in Tunis that was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) armed group, the mood in the streets of the capital was hopeful but cautious. At least one police officer died in the blast, in addition to the bomber.

But he has lost influence since prime minister Youssef Chahed took office as prime minister in 2016.

Essebsi, 92, "was taken seriously ill and transferred to the military hospital in Tunis", the presidency said on its Facebook page.

Tunisia is often described as the lone success story of the Arab spring for slow but steady progress towards democracy, despite extended economic problems.


"It was a suicide attack", interior ministry spokesman Sofiene Zaag said.

Security forces are now at the scene and they have suspended traffic in Habib Bourguiba Street.

Parliamentary elections are expected to be held on October 6 with a presidential vote following on November 17.

Half an hour later, the second attack targeted a base of the national guard, judicial police and the anti-terror branch in the capital.

"He will be quickly forgotten by the authorities and his family will not receive any compensation, not even his salary", said a fellow policeman.

On Thursday morning, a "terrorist group" attacked the broadcasting station at Mount Orbata in Gafsa, Mosaique FM, a private radio station, quoted Mohamed Zekri, the information officer at the ministry of defense, as saying.

The minister said he had a "message to tourists: have a good holiday and come to Tunisia".

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