TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A suspected Islamic extremist stabbed two police officers Wednesday near Tunisia's Parliament headquarters in an unusually bold attack that rattled the capital.
The attacker, a 25-year-old known to authorities for radicalism, was quickly arrested, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Security reinforcements were rushed to the site in a western suburb of Tunis and cordoned off the area. The stabbing occurred near the country's leading museum, the Bardo — itself the target of one of Tunisia's deadliest attacks when two extremists trained in Libya gunned down tourists in 2015.
One of the officers is in intensive care after being stabbed in the neck, the ministry said. The other rushed to his aid and was stabbed in the forehead and was treated for lighter injuries, it said.
The attacker was from the working class Ettadhamon neighborhood of Tunis, and a preliminary investigation found that he has adhered for the past three years to an ideology that considers law enforcement officers as despots and that killing them is a form of jihad, the statement said.
Tunisia has struggled with Islamic extremism since protesters overthrew their longtime authoritarian leader in 2011 and established a fragile democracy. Deadly attacks by Islamic radicals killed dozens at the Bardo and at a beach resort in 2015.
Extremists linked to al-Qaida and later the Islamic State group have targeted soldiers and police in other regions of Tunisia, notably in the Kasserine mountains near the Algerian border. But it is rare for them to target police around the capital.