Mass rally in Tunis over museum attack
THOUSANDS of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Tunis for an anti-terror march.
Chanting “Tunisia is free! Terrorism out!” they marched to the Bardo Museum, the scene of an attack in which 21 tourists and a Tunisian died.
French President Francois Hollande and other world leaders attended a ceremony at the museum.
Hours earlier, Tunisian authorities said that they had killed one of the prime suspects in the attack.
Speaking at the museum, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi paid tribute to his citizens’ defiance.
“The Tunisian people proved today that they do not bow to terrorism, and that as one man and one woman, they defend the nation. When Tunisia is targeted, the whole nation stands as one.”
Gunmen stormed the museum in Tunis on March 18. British, Japanese, French, Italian and Colombian tourists were among the dead.
Yesterday, President Hollande announced that Huguette Dupeu, a Frenchwoman injured in the attack, had died from her wounds.
As well as the French leader, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and other foreign dignitaries attended a ceremony at the museum where a stone tablet was dedicated to the memory of the attack victims.
Speaking at the ceremony President Hollande pledged France’s support.
“We had four French citizens killed there, victims of terrorism, so it was necessary to participate in this march,” he said, adding: “Today it’s about Tunisia, and the values it represents in the Arab world and beyond.”
Demonstrators waved Tunisian flags and held up slogans of “Not Afraid” and “We Are Bardo” as they marched, surrounded by a heavy security presence.
“We have shown we are a democratic people, Tunisians are moderate, and there is no room for terrorists here,” demonstrator Kamel Saad told Reuters.
Some leftist political groups chose to boycott the rally. They object to the participation of an Islamic party, who they hold accountable for the rise of Islamic extremism in the country.
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