Terror Attack Reported in Tunisia
On Wednesday March 18th, 2015, Al Jazeera reported that there was an attack in Tunisia on Wednesday. According to the report,
Two gunmen and a security officer were killed in a raid at a Tunisian museum on Wednesday, ending a hostage situation that followed an attack on the building that left several tourists dead.
The gunmen killed 19 people — including 17 tourists — and injured 22 people, according to Prime Minister Habib Essid. The attack started outside the National Bardo Museum, which lies next to the capital’s parliament compound.
The attackers then proceeded to hold a number of tourists and museum staff hostage as government forces surrounded the area.
The standoff ended when armed troops stormed the museum. Both attackers were killed and the hostage crisis was declared over by Tunisian authorities. A police officer was killed in the security operation.
It seems that officials have not yet found or publicized the motive for this attack. Individuals and political parties in Tunisia have come out to condemn this attack. For example, “In a post to its Facebook page, Tunisia’s major Islamist political party, Ennahdha, said it was “horrified by this attack,” adding that it “strongly condemns all acts of violence against Tunisia and its visitors”” (Al Jazeera, 2015).
Terrorism has been a major issue in Tunisia since the fall of Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali during the Arab uprisings. Two prominent political leaders were assassinated in 2013, which lead many to be frustrated at the then Ennahda government for what they believed was a failure of effective security. Some have argued that these groups are trying to affect tourism and the democratic transition in the country. And in fact, one of the key issues that the new unity government in Tunisia between Nidaa Tounes and Ennahda is trying to deal with is the capturing of terrorists in the country.
This is a sad event, and one that hopefully will not impede the democratic progress that Tunisia has made since the fall of Ben Ali in 2011. It is so horrifying to think that innocent civilians are being targeted, and let us hope that the government can stop such the extremists.