7 Italians, 4 Britons Hurt in Tunisian Hotel Blasts

Associated Press

Four homemade bombs exploded at tourist hotels in the coastal cities of Sousse and Monastir, injuring 13 people, including seven Italians and four Britons, officials said today.

Jeremy Larner, the British consul in Tunis, said the four British tourists were injured when a bomb went off about 11 p.m. Sunday in the bar of the Sahara Beach Hotel in Monastir, about 100 miles south of the capital.

He said one British woman had a foot amputated and was hospitalized. The three other Britons were treated and released.

Seven Italian tourists were injured in a simultaneous bombing at the Hannibal Palace Hotel in nearby Sousse, Larner said. In Rome, the Italian Foreign Ministry said most of the injured Italians were not seriously hurt.

Larner said bombs at the El Hana Beach Hotel in Sousse and the Kuriat Palace Hotel in Monastir caused no injuries.

The other two injured people were believed to be Tunisian employees of the hotels.

In a statement published by the official news agency TAP, the Tunisian Interior Ministry described the bombings as "isolated acts." The statement said the bombs were weak and homemade, but provided few details.

There was no claim of responsibility for the bombings, and no indication whether the bombs were timed to coincide with today's official holiday celebrating the 84th birthday of President Habib Bourguiba.

Islamic fundamentalists have clashed with police in recent months in the capital, Tunis, and other major cities. Tunisia broke relations with Iran earlier this year, accusing Iranian diplomats of stirring up trouble.

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