Tu­nisia com­mem­o­rates vic­tims of beach mas­sacre

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

TU­NIS—Tu­nisia held a minute’s si­lence Mon­day mark­ing one year since a sea­side at­tack claimed by ISIS that killed 38 tourists in­clud­ing 30 Bri­tons in the North African country.

Tu­nisia’s Tourism Min­is­ter Selma El­loumi Rekik and Bri­tish For­eign Of­fice of­fi­cial To­bias Ell­wood laid down flow­ers to re­mem­ber the vic­tims of the shoot­ing in the town of Port El Kan­taoui south of the cap­i­tal. A priest then called out the names of the vic­tims under the watch­ful eye of se­cu­rity forces, who were out in high num­bers for the oc­ca­sion.

Ho­tel em­ploy­ees as well as diplo­mats from Ger­many, Por­tu­gal, Ire­land, Bel­gium and Rus­sia - whose coun­tries also lost vic­tims in the at­tack - also at­tended the cer­e­mony. Tourists fled in hor­ror on June 26 last year, as a Tu­nisian gun­man pulled a Kalash­nikov ri­fle from inside a furled beach um­brella and went on a shoot­ing spree out­side a five-star ho­tel near the city of Sousse.

Tu­nisia, the birth­place of the Arab Spring, has suf­fered from a wave of ex­trem­ist vi­o­lence since the 2011 revolution that ousted long­time dic­ta­tor Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The beach blood­bath was the sec­ond of two deadly ex­trem­ist at­tacks that dealt heavy blows to the country’s vi­tal tourism sec­tor last year, fol­low­ing four years of de­cline due to po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity.

The shoot­ing came just months af­ter 21 tourists and a po­lice­man were killed in an­other at­tack at the Bardo Na­tional Mu­seum in Tu­nis. Both were claimed by ISIS.

In Novem­ber, a sui­cide bomb­ing in the cap­i­tal - also claimed by the ex­trem­ist group - killed 12 mem­bers of the pres­i­den­tial guard.—Agen­cies

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