Officer, three assailants killed in Tunisian resort attack

Tunisian forces shot dead three assailants who rammed their vehicle into security officers and attacked them with knives, killing one officer and injuring another in the coastal resort town of Sousse.

Sousse was the site of Tunisia’s deadliest attack in 2015 when a gunman killed 38 people, most of them British tourists.

A patrol of two National Guard officers was targeted in the knife attack on Sunday in Sousse, 140km (87 miles) south of the capital Tunis, said National Guard spokesman Houcem Eddine Jebabli.

“One died as a martyr and the other was wounded and is hospitalised,” he said, adding “this was a terrorist attack.”

The attackers first rammed the gendarmes with a vehicle at about 6:40am (05:40 GMT).

After the knife attack, security forces pursued the assailants who took the officers’ guns and vehicle through the Akouda district of the city’s tourist area of El-Kantaoui, said Jebabli.

“In a firefight, three terrorists were killed,” he said, adding security forces “managed to recover” the car and two pistols the assailants had stolen.

The North African nation’s prime minister, Hicham Mechichi, appeared to suggest the assailants’ planning might have been faulty.

Speaking in Sousse at the site of the attack, he announced the arrest of a fourth suspect who had been on board 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.”

Tunisian President Kais Saied, on a visit hours later to the sealed-off scene of the knife attack, said police were investigating whether it was planned “by individuals or an organisation”.

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