October 30, 2018 / 1:12 PM / 20 days ago

Tunisia's most prominent street back to normal a day after suicide bombing

Police officers secure the area at the site of an explosion that occurred yesterday in Tunis, Tunisia October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

TUNIS (Reuters) - Shops and cafes in the center of the Tunisian capital reopened on Tuesday amid heightened security and crowds returned to the street where a suicide bomber wounded 10 police officers and five others a day earlier.

The bombing on Habib Bourguiba avenue was the first such violence in the capital since late 2015 when militants killed dozens of people in attacks that targeted the country’s vital tourism sector.

“We will stay here and will continue to live normally ... we will shake them off (extremists),” said Lamia Ben Omar, who was sitting with a friend in a cafe. Police cars increased patrols and officers searched some pedestrians, witnesses said.

A security source told Reuters the bomber detonated a grenade rather than an explosives belt. Her family said she was likely radicalized online.

Tunisia is one of the few Arab democracies and the only country to throw off an autocratic leader during the Arab Spring in 2011 without triggering large scale unrest or civil war.

Writing by Tarek Amara and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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