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Woman blows herself up in central Tunis, wounding nine

All but one of the casualties in the Tunisian capital are police officers, interior ministry spokesman says
A picture taken on October 29, 2018, shows police and firemen gathering at the site of a suicide attack in the centre of the Tunisian capital Tunis (AFP)

At least nine people have been wounded after a strong explosion rattled the Tunisian capital on Monday, according to the interior ministry.

Witnesses and a policeman at the scene said a woman had blown herself up close to police officers. Several ambulances and security personnel were at the scene.

Ministry spokesman Sofiene Zaag told AFP that all but one of the casualties were police.

Ambulances arrived swiftly at the blast site, which was cordoned off by security forces.

Since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, militant attacks in Tunisia have killed dozens of members of the security forces and foreign tourists.

In June 2015, 38 people were killed in a shooting rampage at the coastal resort of Sousse which targeted tourists, while an attack the same year on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis left 22 people dead.

The terror attacks decimated Tunisia's crucial tourism sector, which made up seven percent of gross domestic product.

Tunisia has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when an Islamic State group-claimed suicide bombing in Tunis killed 12 presidential guards.

The state of emergency was extended earlier this month until 6 November, amid a tense political climate ahead of legislative and presidential elections planned for next year.