SA woman wounded in Tunis attack ‘not in danger’

2015-03-22 10:00

The 65-year-old South African tourist who was wounded in the terror attack on tourists in Tunisia had an operation on her foot yesterday afternoon.

“It’s nothing serious. She’s not in danger at all,” Samar Samoud, medical adviser to the Tunisian health minister, told Rapport, the sister newspaper of City Press.

At the request of the woman’s family, Samoud would not reveal her identity.

She was injured on Wednesday when armed members of militant group Islamic State opened fire on tourists visiting the Bardo museum in Tunis. She is being treated in the Charles Nicolle Hospital in the city.

The woman and her husband had apparently just got off a tourist bus when the armed men opened fire. A total of 23 people were killed and 44 were injured in the attack.

The woman and her husband sustained slight injuries.

The couple were on a Mediterranean cruise on the MSC Splendida. There were 78 other South Africans on board. Nine of the cruise liner’s passengers were killed in the attack, none of them South Africans.

The cruise ship has since arrived on the last leg of the trip in Barcelona.

Daleen Pienaar, whose daughter, Helen Esterhuizen (28), is on the ship with five friends, said they had decided to make the best of a bad situation and to enjoy the rest of their holiday.

The six friends just missed the terror attack when they decided to go to a market in the city instead of the museum.

“My daughter later sent an SMS and said everyone on the ship was extremely traumatised by what had happened. The atmosphere on the ship was very sombre after the attack. The dining halls were quiet and the entertainment on the boat was cancelled,” she said.

The South African passengers will be back in the country on Monday.

Pienaar said her daughter and friends did not know the South African couple that was attacked.

A delegation from the South African government had already visited the woman in hospital, said Nelson Kgwete, spokesperson for the department of foreign affairs.

The Tunisian ambassador to South Africa, Mohamed Fadhel Ayari, told the Saturday Star his government was looking after the woman and her family, who are staying in a Tunis hotel free of charge.

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