Tourists leave Tunisia after attack

2015-03-19 10:53
An image grab taken from the state-run Tunisia 1 channel shows people escaping from Tunis' famed Bardo Museum during an attack by men armed with assault rifles. (Tunisia 1, AFP)

An image grab taken from the state-run Tunisia 1 channel shows people escaping from Tunis' famed Bardo Museum during an attack by men armed with assault rifles. (Tunisia 1, AFP)

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Cape Town – Foreigners are reportedly gathered at the port in Tunis, awaiting the departure of a cruise liner heading back to Italy following Tunisia's deadliest militant attack over a decade.

A Reuters report said the country's tourism minister was at the port and spoke to a tourist guide who explained what happened at the museum.

Gunmen attacked the Bardo Museum, one of Tunisia's main attractions, on Wednesday. The museum shares an entrance with the country's parliament, which was in session at the time of the attack.

Tunisia's interior ministry confirmed that there was a South African among 19 tourists killed. However, South Africa's department of international relations and co-operation has yet to confirm this.

Hunt for three suspects

It wasn't clear who the attackers were.

Two attackers, however, were killed by Tunisian security forces who moved in to end the hostage siege.

The hunt was still on for three suspects whom the Tunisian government said were linked to the attack, a CNN report said on Thursday.

It was unclear what role the three remaining suspects played in the attack.

Meanwhile, AFP reported that Tunisian President Beji Caid Essibsi has vowed to fight terrorism "without mercy".

"Tunisians are in a state of war against terrorism," Essibsi said in a televised address late on Wednesday.

"We will emerge victorious"

"This minority and bestial cells will not rout us. We will resist them without pity or mercy. We will emerge victorious," he added.

Essibsi, who took office in December, promised that his country will maintain democracy while fighting to "finish off those traitors".

US First Lady Michelle Obama expressed her and US President Barack Obama's condolences over the "horrific event yesterday in Tunisia".

"Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those who were lost here in Japan and around the world," she said during a visit to Tokyo.

Three Japanese were among the 19 people killed. Visitors from Columbia, Italy, France, Australia, Poland and Spain were also among the dead.

At least 42 people were injured, according to Tunisia's official news agency TAP.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the shooting as a "deplorable act", following similar condemnation from French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Read more on:    un  |  michelle obama  |  barack obama  |  ban ki-moon  |  beji caid essibsi  |  north africa  |  tunisia attack

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