Police officers stand guard at the site of an explosion in downtown Tunis Image Credit: AFP

Tunis - Two suicide bombers attacked police and the national guard in the Tunisian capital on Thursday, wounding at least nine people including several civilians, the interior ministry said.

One attack on the main street of Tunis wounded three civilians and two police personnel, the interior ministry said.

Body parts were strewn in the road around a police car on Habib Bourguiba avenue near the old city, according to an AFP correspondent.

"It was a suicide attack, which took place at 10:50" (0950 GMT), on Habib Bourguiba, Interior Ministry spokesman Sofiene Zaag told AFP.

The suicide bomber did not kill anyone "but five (are) wounded - three civilians and two police officers", Zaag added.

The second attack targeted a base of the national guard in the capital and wounded four security personnel, the ministry said.

"At 11:00 am (1000 GMT) an individual blew himself up outside the back door" of the base, wounding four security personnel, Zaag said.

Civil protection units and police rapidly deployed to Habib Bourguiba avenue, where the interior ministry is located.

People initially fled in panic, before some crowded around the scene of the attack, expressing anger against the authorities. Shops and offices were closed by police.

On October 29 last year an unemployed graduate blew herself up near police cars on the same street, killing herself and wounding 26 people, mostly police officers, according to the interior ministry.

UAE condemns attacks

The UAE has condemned the series of suicide and terror explosions that targeted a security patrol and police station in the heart of Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis, on Thursday.

In a statement today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said: "The UAE expresses its condemnation and the denouncement of these acts of terrorism and reiterates its principled rejection of all acts of violence and terrorism.''

The UAE also reiterated its support for and solidarity with the people and the government of Tunisia in their fight against violence.

The UAE also called on the international community to unite in the efforts to confront and uproot this dangerous menace, which threatens international security and stability.

The ministry wished those injured in the incidents a speedy recovery.