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Tunisian policeman dies after knife attack outside parliament

Police officers investigate the crime scene near the parliament building in Tunis [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 November, 2017

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Commander Riadh Barrouta has died after being knifed in the neck the day before outside parliament in a bustling part of the capital Tunis.

A Tunisian policeman died on Thursday a day after he was stabbed by an extremist outside parliament in a bustling part of the capital Tunis.

Commander Riadh Barrouta, who was knifed in the neck during the attack on Wednesday, "has died", interior ministry spokesman Yasser Mesbah said.

A second officer was lightly wounded in the forehead in the early morning assault before the attacker in his mid-20s was quickly arrested.

The interior ministry said the assailant was arrested and had confessed to having adopted an "extremist" ideology three years ago. "Killing them (police), he believes, is a form of jihad," it said.

Prosecutors said the assailant, an unemployed computer science graduate born in 1992, was from a suburb of Tunis and did not have a criminal record.

An official at the police station where the man was taken after being detained said the attacker appeared "very aware of what he did".

"He spoke calmly and showed no remorse," the official said, asking to remain anonymous.

"He told us: 'This morning, I prayed and I decided to do something for jihad. I saw the policeman in front of me. To me, he's a 'tyrant'. And I did what I did,'" the official quoted the suspect as allegedly saying.

Since its 2011 revolution, which sparked the Arab Spring, Tunisia's security forces have faced a series of extremist attacks that have claimed the lives of more than 100 soldiers and police.

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