The wanted militant blew himself in Tunis after being cornered by police.
Rabat – Following a pursuit on the evening of Tuesday, July 2, special forces surrounded the man they believe was responsible for a series of bombings in Tunisia’s capital city.
When police opened fire, the suspect, Aymen Smiri, detonated an explosive device on his belt, killing himself instantly.
The incident was the third attack in the capital city of Tunis in less than a week.
“The terrorist Aymen Smiri was implicated in the twin suicide bombings on Thursday, and investigations proved that he was the mastermind of the operation,” Interior Ministry spokesman Sofiene Zaag told AFP.
Witnesses said Smiri, reportedly in his early 20s, was wearing women’s clothing at the time of the attack.
Residents in the Intilaka area of Tunis reported hearing a large blast when Smiri detonated the device on his belt.
Zaag described Smiri as “very active and very dangerous leader.”
Last week, ISIS claimed responsibility for two separate suicide bombings in the capital on Thursday, June 27. One police officer was killed in the attacks and several civilians injured. Authorities said the bombers targeted police and security forces in both incidents.
In 2015, Tunisia declared a long-running state of emergency after a series of deadly attacks that culminated in a mass shooting at a resort that killed 38 people. Since then, violent incidents in Tunisia’s capital have been rare.
The years of calm were shattered in October of 2018 when a female suicide bomber blew herself up in the center of Tunis. Over a dozen people were injured in the explosion, including 10 police officers.
Security forces remain on high alert following recent attacks, and as the country begins to gear up for national elections in October.