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Stabbing Attack in Tunisia, Suspect Detained

FILE: Two Tunisian Jewish men are seen at Ghriba, the oldest Jewish synagogue in Africa, during an annual pilgrimage in Djerba, Tunisia, 5.3.2018

A man with a knife injured two police officers stationed near a synagogue in Tunisia's capital. This occurs amid an unspecified threat against President Kais Saied, according to the Interior Ministry.

Authorities in Tunisia said on Friday that two police officers working near a synagogue in Tunisia's capital were stabbed by a guy who fled the scene but was located nearby soon afterward along with the knife.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Fadhila Khelifi described the incident as a terrorist attack and said investigators were trying to determine whether the suspect had accomplices.

Earlier, Khelifi mentioned unspecified threats targeting President Kais Saied, aimed at “undermining public security and sowing chaos in Tunisia.” She did not provide further details, citing ongoing investigations.

The attack took place outside the Tunis synagogue, the director of the Interior Ministry’s communications office, Faker Bouzgaya told The Associated Press.

He said the assailant was released from prison last year after serving time for acts of public violence.

In addition to the economic and social difficulties the North African nation has faced for many years, Tunisia is gripped by an acute political crisis since Saied granted himself sweeping powers in July 2021, saying he needed to “save the country” from chaos.

Many voices of the opposition accuse him of taking a totalitarian path, endangering the democratic experiment Tunisia undertook after the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

Saied plans to submit a new constitution to a July 25 referendum. It would establish a presidential system of government in place of the hybrid one Tunisia has now. He has said he plans to order a Dec. 17 election to elect a new parliament. Saied dissolved the previous one.