A security source at the site said 'most of the agents who were on the bus are dead' after the attack in Tunis, which has become a target of jihadist violence since the 2011 revolution. No group immediately claimed responsibility for yesterday's bombing, which a ministry official said also wounded 20 people when it went off on Mohamed V Avenue, just as this year's 26th Carthage Film Festival was in full swing.

Essebsi, who cancelled a trip to Switzerland for today, declared a state of emergency throughout the country and a curfew in the capital. "As a result of this painful event, this great tragedy... I proclaim a state of emergency for 30 days under the terms of law and a curfew in greater Tunis from 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) until 5:00 am tomorrow," he said in brief televised address.

Prime Minister Habib Essid and Interior Minister Najemc Gharsalli visited the scene of the blast. The United States condemned the attack and offered to help the Tunisian authorities with their investigation.

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