Tunisia: President calls for solidarity and vigilance after attack

Tunisia: President calls for solidarity and vigilance after attack

tunisia-after-terrorist-actsTunisia under its new government has suffered its first terrorist attack as armed men stormed on Wednesday the National Bardo Museum killing at least 22 people; most of them tourists.

Security Forces managed to bring the situation under control after a three-hour hostage crisis. The attack has been condemned worldwide and analysts believe that it will have a negative impact on tourism and the economy.

President Essebsi told France 24 that the attackers had been “identified” and are linked to Ansar al-Sharia, a group accused of being behind a series of political assassinations in 2013 and the 2012 attack on the US embassy. He urged Tunisians to be mobilized and “respond as one man” because “every Tunisian should feel directly threatened” by the attack that was, he said, an “intolerable provocation.” New security measures are expected to be introduced to avoid that such attacks happen again.

The attack came a day after Tunisia confirmed that Ahmed Rouissi alias ‘black box of terrorism’ was killed in Libya. He was wanted in Tunisia for the assassinations of two opposition figures. President Essebsi ruled out going after terrorist groups in Libya after the attack because that will only “aggravate the situation.” He acknowledged that there are “many sleeper cells in Tunisia.”

The President, who visited the wounded in hospital, deplored that “many of the victims were friends of Tunisia who came to this country as tourists.” He called on Tunisians to “stand strong against these militants and wipe them out.”

The National Bardo Museum, built within a 15th-century palace, is the largest museum in Tunisia with collections covering two floors. It houses one of the world’s largest collections of Roman mosaics. It is located next to the country’s parliament.

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