Tunisia arrests 5 over attack near US embassy

Tunis (AFP) –


Five people have been arrested in Tunisia over a double suicide attack that killed a police officer near the US embassy in Tunis last week, the prosecution said Tuesday.

Two suicide bombers struck outside the embassy on Friday, wounding six other people and again shaking a city repeatedly hit by jihadist violence.

The five detainees were arrested on Saturday and are being held at a police station in the capital's El Gorjani district specialising in anti-terrorism investigations, spokesman Sofiene Sliti told AFP.

Tunisian media have reported that the two suicide bombers were men from Tunis who had served their sentences after being found guilty on terror charges in 2014.

The attack on Friday at midday rocked the Berges du Lac district hosting the highly fortified embassy, causing panic among pedestrians and motorists.

A video shared later on social media shows two men in sports clothes and with caps on their heads riding a scooter up to a police van then pausing for a few seconds before an explosion.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack and authorities have not announced any other advances in their investigations.

Tunisia has been hit by multiple jihadist attacks since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

A string of deadly attacks in 2015 killed dozens of foreign tourists and security personnel.

An attack that year that killed 12 presidential guards prompted authorities to announce a state of emergency that has remained in place ever since.