Tunisian president hospitalised as suicide bombs strike capital

In this file photo taken on February 25, 2019 Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi delivers a speech during the opening day of the 40th session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva. Picture: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

In this file photo taken on February 25, 2019 Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi delivers a speech during the opening day of the 40th session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva. Picture: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Shortly before the president’s hospitalisation at a military hospital in Tunis was announced, twin suicide blasts rocked the capital, killing a policeman and injuring civilians. 

Tunisia’s aging president, Beji Caid Essebsi, has been rushed to hospital after falling “seriously ill.”

The news came shortly after the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings which targeted security forces, killing one policeman, injuring five others as well as several civilians.

The Tunisian presidency reported late on Thursday evening that the president’s was in a “stable condition” after being taken to a military hospital in the capital Tunis.

Essebi, who came to power in 2014 in Tunisia’s first democratic elections, had appeared very frail in recent public appearances.

Shortly before the president’s hospitalisation was announced, twin suicide blasts rocked the capital.

The first bomber set off his explosives near a police patrol stationed near Tunis’ commercial centre killing one officer, injuring another as well as three civilians. The second explosion targeted the entrance to the base of an anti-terrorism brigade on the outskirts of the city wounding four policemen.

The IS, which claimed responsibility, was also behind two other of Tunisia’s deadliest attacks, including the March 2015 attack which targeted Tunis’ Bardo Museum and killed 22 people and another attack three months later in the coastal city of Sousse which killed 38 people.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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