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Tunisia explosion prompts travel warning
Posted on 31/10/2013

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A suicide bomb attack has occured in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse. According to officials, the explosion took place on a popular beach, in front of a hotel.

Sousse

Sousse
© Tony Steinhardt / age fotostock

Sousse, known for it Mediterranean beaches, is a popular tourist resort with Europeans.

A suicide bomb attack has occured in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse. According to officials, the explosion took place on a popular beach, in front of a hotel.

Though the attacker was killed, nobody else was hurt.

ATTACKER THE SOLE VICTIM

The blast occurred at 9:45am local time (8:45am GMT) not far from the Riadh Palm Hotel, a popular beachside resort complex in Sousse. The city lies just 12 miles from the international airport of Monastir and approximately 90 miles south of country's capital, Tunis.

The assailant, reportedly a male, was chased away after being spotted, detonating his belt of explosives on an empty beach.

This coincides with the foiling of a suicide attempt in nearby Monastir by the police. The failed attempt took place at the Bourguiba Mousoleum, the tomb of former Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba, who led the country following its independence from France.

FCO WARNING

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) released the following statement on the matter: "The only reported casualty [in Sousse] was an individual who was believed to have been carrying explosives. There are reports of the arrest of two other individuals who were found in possession of explosives at the Borguiba Mausoleum in Monastir."

"The British Embassy in Tunis is in close contact with the Tunisian authorities. Embassy staff are travelling to Sousse to offer support and advice. You should be vigilant, keep up to date with this travel advice, and follow the advice of the local authorities and your tour operator," advise the FCO.

Tunisia's tourist industry - on which it is heavily dependent - is still trying to recover from the 2011 uprising, which saw its president of 24 years, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, ousted. Though terrorist activity remains a rarity in Tunisia, the turbulence in neighbouring Libya has led to rise in militant activity, with two political assassinations having taken place this year.

TOP DESTINATION

The North African country's deserts and Mediterranean beaches have for years been a popular destination for Europeans. In 2012, it welcomed 5.8 million visitors - over one million on the previous year - amounting to a healthy 1163 million in revenues.

The FCO advise against all travel to the Chaambi Mountain National Park area in the west of the country. All but essential travel is discouraged to areas within 19 miles of the Libyan border, as well as regions within 19 miles of the border with Algeria.

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- Travel Guide: Tunisia
- City Guide: Sousse