Suicide Bombing, Failed Attempt Rattle Nerves in Tunisia

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013 10:20 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

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Two would-be suicide bombers attempted to detonate themselves Wednesday in Tunisia with mixed results, the New York Times reported Thursday.
 
The first strike occurred Wednesday morning outside a hotel in Sousse, a city located 95 miles south of Tunis, where a man attempted to enter a seaside attack from the beach but was stopped by security guards.He blew himself up but injured no one else in the attack.

An American tourist who asked not to be identified told NBC News that her family was “lucky to be alive” after the man detonated himself a short distance away as they headed for a short dip in the water.

The Tunisian Interior Ministry said a second suicide bomber, arrested before he blow himself up, sought to attack  a mausoleum in Monastir, Tunisia, the Long War Journal reported.

It is unclear whether the attacks were connected. But taken together they raise the specter of revived jihadist operations in Tunisia and could undermine complicated political negotiations now underway over a new constitution, new elections and a caretaker government to run the country as the campaign goes forward.

As talks have continued, jihadists have staged repeated attacks on the police and military, killing soldiers and police in recent clashes.

According to The Times, the militant group Ansar al-Shariah attacked the U.S. Embassy in Tunis earlier this year and has assassinated two politicians.

Wednesday’s attempted attacks were the first such attacks in Tunisia in more than a decade.

In 2002, al-Qaida-linked radicals killed 21 people in a suicide attack on a synagogue in Djerba. Most of those killed in that attack were European tourists.

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