Authorities in Tunisia have stated that the Bardo Museum will reopen following a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of more than 20 foreign tourists. A group of gunmen targeted the visitors and one police officer at the museum in the capital of Tunis last Wednesday.
A number of the visitors were held hostage before Tunisian security forces stormed the building. Two of the terrorists were killed in the firefight. The duo have been named as Hatem Khachnaoui and Yassine Laabidi. The Tunisian Interior Ministry says the two had been given weapons training in neighbouring Libya before staging the atrocity that the Islamic State has since claimed responsibility for.
It was later revealed that many of the visitors at the museum on that fateful day were cruise-liner passengers. One of these was Sally Adey, a 57-year-old solicitor from the UK, who was on a cruise stopover with husband Robert.
Bardo Museum curator Moncef Ben Moussa says the facility will officially open just after lunch today with various cultural performances. He noted one of these would be a mini-concert staged by the city’s symphony orchestra.
The curator added that although re-opening the museum following the attack had been a challenge, it delivered a message from the museum and the residents of Tunis that they would not be intimidated by acts of terrorism. Tunisian officials had stated that the attack was bound to impact on the vital tourism industry.
In an effort to assuage the worries of the international community, prime-minister Habib Essid yesterday fired senior police officers including the chief of the Bardo security detail and Tunis’s commander. He also told French reporters that Tunisia’s economy was flagging and the terrorist attack had only exacerbated the situation.