Three shot dead in tourist hotspot after police officer killed in horror attack

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Police in Tunisia chased and shot dead three suspected Islamist militants after they attacked two police officers, killing one of them, in the coastal city of Sousse on Sunday, authorities said.

Tunisian security forces shot dead three suspected Islamic militants who rammed their vehicle into police officers and attacked them with knives, killing one and injuring another in the Mediterranean resort, authorities said.

An Interior Ministry statement said the assailants took refuge in a school after the attack and died in a shootout with security forces.

Hatem Zargouni, director of security for Sousse, said the attackers stabbed the officers and then fled with their weapons.

The injured officer was taken to hospital.

Five years ago an Islamic State militant shot dead 39 foreigners on a beach in Sousse, triggering an exodus of tourists and severely damaging its economy.

Thirty Britons were killed in a terrorist attack on the beach in June 2015.

Since then Tunisia has grown more effective in preventing and responding to attacks, foreign diplomats say, but sleeper cells still pose a real threat to the country, especially with the return of jihadists from Syria, Iraq and Libya.

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"Terrorists stabbed two policemen at El Kantaoui district, in Sousse. One of them died. The police pursued the terrorists and killed them," said Houssem Jbebli, a National Guard spokesman.

According to the Interior Ministry, the suspects used a car to ram the policemen.

"Security forces surrounded the terrorists and exchanged fire with them, killing the three terrorists," the ministry said in a statement.

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Interior Minister Taoufik Charfeddine went to the scene of and to the hospital in Sousse to visit the injured policeman, the ministry said.

Kantaoui is a district full of hotels currently empty as tourists stay 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.

Hundreds of Tunisians have travelled to Iraq, Syria or Libya in recent years to join Islamic State, and in 2016 members of the group rampaged across the border with Libya and fought the army in a border town, but were repulsed.

  • Shooting
  • Terror
  • ISIS

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