One policeman and three suspected terrorists have been killed after an attack on a resort in Tunisia where 38 tourists were massacred in 2015, officials say.
Tunisian forces shot dead the suspected Islamic militants who rammed their vehicle into security officers and attacked them with knives – but the attackers killed one and injured another in the coastal resort of Sousse.
An Interior Ministry statement said the assailants took refuge in a school after the attack and died in a shootout with security forces.
The town was the site of Tunisia’s deadliest extremist attack in 2015, when 38 people, most of them British tourists, were killed.
The North African nation’s prime minister, Hicham Mechichi, appeared to suggest that the assailants’ planning may have been faulty.
Speaking at the site of the attack, he announced the arrest of a fourth suspect who had been aboard the vehicle that rammed the National Guard officers.
‘These terrorist groups wanted to signal their presence,’ he said.
‘But they got the wrong address this time. The clearest proof of that is that the authors of this attack were eliminated in a few minutes.’
Mr Mechichi added that ‘these microbes must fear the Tunisians because lions are protecting the country’.
Hatem Zargouni, director of security for Sousse, said the assailants stabbed the officers and then fled with their weapons. The injured officer was admitted to hospital.
According to the Interior Ministry, the suspects used a car to ram the policemen.
In a statement, the ministry said: ‘Security forces surrounded the terrorists and exchanged fire with them, killing the three terrorists.’
Houssem Jbebli, a National Guard spokesman, said: ‘Terrorists stabbed two policemen at El Kantaoui district, in Sousse. One of them died. The police pursued the terrorists and killed them.’
Kantaoui is a district full of hotels currently empty with tourists staying away during the coronavirus pandemic.
The last serious attack in Tunisia was in March, when two militants on a motorbike blew themselves up outside the US Embassy in Tunis, killing a policeman and wounding several others.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the 2015 attack.
Aymen Rezgui, a Tunisian student who trained with Libyan militants, walked on to the beach of the Imperial Hotel and used an assault rifle to shoot at tourists in lounge chairs.
He then continued on to the hotel pool before throwing a grenade into the hotel, and was later killed by police.
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