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Tunisian court sentences eight to death over bombing that killed 12 presidential guards

Twenty other guards were injured in suicide bombing of their bus in Tunis in 2015 in attack claimed by Islamic State
The presidential guard bus in the aftermath of the bomb attack in central Tunis on 24 November 2015 (AFP)

A Tunisian court on Friday sentenced eight people to death over a suicide bombing that targeted a presidential security bus in the capital Tunis in November 2015.

The attack, claimed by Islamic State (IS), killed 12 presidential guards and injured another 20. 

Deputy public prosecutor Mohsen el Daly said the fifth chamber of the Tunis Court of First Instance - which specialises in terrorism crimes - handed down eight death sentences, one life imprisonment and one 10-year jail sentence.

The defendants were found guilty of "voluntary murder and belonging to terrorist groups," Daly said, adding that only four of the men were present during the trial. 

The rest were sentenced in absentia, he told the Tunisian news agency TAP. 

The court also issued a decision to compensate the families of those killed and injured in the attack.

Tunisia has not carried out capital punishment since the 1990s, but it retains the death penalty for terrorism-related crimes. 

In February, a Tunisian court sentenced seven individuals to life in prison over attacks at a museum and on a beach in 2015 that killed 60 people, many of them British tourists.

The two attacks were also claimed by IS.

Tunisia has maintained a state of emergency since the 2015 attacks, despite a relative improvement in the security situation.