Gunmen in military uniforms mounted a brazen midday attack on the National Bardo Museum in central Tunis on Wednesday, leaving 22 people killed.
Polish, Italian, Spanish, German and Tunisian citizens are among those killed. A number of people were trapped inside the museum while the attacks went on, and were freed after two hours.
Poland’s foreign ministry said that three Poles were among the six wounded. Spain’s foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said two Spaniards died in the attack. He told El País that they were a retired couple from Catalonia who had arrived in Tunis on a cruise. Around 90 Spaniards from two cruises were in Tunis on Wednesday.
The first Italian victim to be named was Francesco Caldara, a 64-year-old pensioner from the northern Italian city of Novara, passenger of a Costa Cruise, which was touring the Mediterranean for seven days. It reported that Caldara was killed in a spray of bullets while he sat on a bus that had been parked outside the Bardo museum. His partner, Sonia Reddi, was also wounded in the attack and both were taken to hospital, where Caldara died.
Nicola Previti, 34 years of Treviso, illusionist aboard Costa Fascinosa had disembarked from the ship and with a taxi had arrived in the center of Tunis. As soon as he fell luckily got the call of the mother – tells his wife – he said
run, run, run away immediately from there and returned to the ship, there is an attack.
The taxi driver put him immediately on guard and got him back to the ship. From his cabin was then connected via Skype with Francesca and he reassured.
I’m fine, I’m on board. The harbor is full of police and army men, but here we are safe.
Previti had embarked on the ship of the Coast on December 12 to join the staff of entertainers on board, which is part of the pianist Antonello Tonna: native of Catania, was also on duty on the day of the sinking Costa Concordia.
Prime Minister Habib Essid said in a news conference that security forces killed two gunmen inside the building, the National Bardo Museum, but that two or three accomplices might still be at large. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but supporters of the militant group Islamic State celebrated the attack in social media postings.