Tunisian Interior Ministry said nine people, including eight police officers, were wounded after a 30-year-old woman blew herself up in Tunis' popular Habib Bourguiba avenue.

Police close off the area near the site of an explosion in the centre of the Tunisian capital Tunis, Tunisia on October 29, 2018.
Police close off the area near the site of an explosion in the centre of the Tunisian capital Tunis, Tunisia on October 29, 2018. (Reuters)

A woman in her 30s blew herself up in the centre of the Tunisian capital Tunis on Monday, wounding nine people in what the Interior Ministry said was a "terrorist explosion."

Witnesses described a blast on the central Habib Bourguiba avenue where police were cordoning off the area near the capital's landmark Municipal Theatre. The ministry said eight police officers were among the wounded.

Ambulances could be heard rushing to the scene.

"I was in front of the theatre and heard a huge explosion ," witness Mohamed Ekbal bin Rajib said.

Tunisia, which is heavily dependent on tourism, has improved security since a series of militant attacks targeting tourists caused the near collapse of the sector three years ago.

In 2015, 21 people were killed during a hostage siege in its national museum, the Bardo in Tunis, and a gunman killed 38 people on a resort beach.

There have been no attacks on that scale since then, but the economy has remained troubled and the authorities worry about militants who shelter in neighbouring Libya.

Tunisia is one of the few Arab democracies, and the only country to throw off a long-serving autocrat during the Arab Spring popular revolts of 2011 without triggering large scale unrest or civil war.

Source: Reuters