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Bardo museum attack


Tunisia’s Bardo museum reopening after last week’s attack that killed at least 22 people has been delayed until March 29.

Bardo museum had been due to reopen on Tuesday morning, March 24, but there will now only be a symbolic ceremony.

Security concerns appear to have halted the reopening.

The reopening, less than a week after the attacks, was intended to show the gunmen “haven’t achieved their goal”.

Only the media will be allowed inside the museum on March 24. A small rally was held in front of the museum.Tunisia Bardo Museum reopening delayed

There are fears the attack – claimed by Islamic State (ISIS) – will hit Tunisia’s vital tourism industry.

On March 23, Tunisian PM Habib Essid dismissed six police chiefs.

Habib Essid’s office said he had noted several security deficiencies during a visit to the museum, which houses a major collection of Roman mosaics and other antiquities.

Two of the gunmen were killed by the security forces during last Wednesday’s attack, while a third is on the run, officials said.

The attack was the deadliest in Tunisia since the uprising which led to the overthrow of long-serving ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Suspects have been arrested over the attack but just two gunmen were thought to have raided the museum.

They are said to have been trained in Libya in an area controlled by ISIS militants.

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Six Tunisian police chiefs have been fired following last week’s attack on the famous Bardo Museum, PM Habib Essid has announced.

PM Habib Essid had noted several security deficiencies during a visit to the museum, his office said.

The Islamic State (ISIS) said it carried out the attack on Bardo museum in the capital, Tunis, killing 23 people, mostly European tourists.

Two of the gunmen were killed by the security forces, while a third was on the run, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said.

“There were certainly three attackers… there is one who is on the run, he won’t get far,” President Beji Caid Essebsi said on March 22.

The attack was the deadliest in Tunisia since the uprising which led to the overthrow of long-serving ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Photo AFP/Getty Images

Photo AFP/Getty Images

The police chiefs of Tunis and the museum were among those dismissed, Habib Essid’s spokesman Mofdi Mssedi told AFP news agency.

Habib Essebsi said in an interview with French media that a monument would be erected in memory of the victims.

The gunmen are said to have been trained in Libya in an area controlled by ISIS militants.

The two gunmen seen in the video were named as Yassine Laabidi and Hatem Khachnaoui. They were both killed in a gunfight with security forces inside the building.

In an earlier interview with Paris Match, Habib Essebsi said that “shortcomings” in Tunisia’s security system meant “the police and intelligence services had not been through enough in protecting the museum”.

However, Habib Essebsi added that the security services “reacted very efficiently” to the attack and had helped save dozens of lives.

Twenty foreigners were among those killed in the attack, including British, Japanese, French, Italian and Colombian tourists.

Following the attack, large numbers of Tunisians gathered outside the museum to protest against terrorism.

Tunisia has seen an upsurge in Islamist extremism since the 2011 revolution – the event that sparked the Arab Spring.

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A video released by the Tunisian government shows gunmen walking through the Bardo museum during the attack that killed 25 people on March 18.

At one point the security camera footage, released by the interior ministry, shows the two attackers bumping into another man who is allowed to flee after the brief encounter.

Authorities said they had arrested more suspects in connection with the attack in the capital, Tunis.

The gunmen are said to have been trained in Libya in an area controlled by Islamic State (ISIS) militants.

ISIS has said it was behind the attack on the Bardo museum, which is next to Tunisia’s parliament.Security video Tunisia Bardo museum attack

The men, named as Yassine Laabidi and Hatem Khachnaoui, were killed in a gunfight with security forces inside the building. At least one of them was wearing an explosives belt.

Twenty foreigners were among those killed, including British, Japanese, French, Italian and Colombian tourists.

The footage shows the men carrying assault rifles and bags as they walk through the museum.

It also captures the moment a startled visitor comes face to face with them. The gunmen briefly point their guns at the man but allow him to run away as they make their way up a staircase.

Earlier, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor said substantial progress had been made in the investigation – but she did not give any details.

Authorities have arrested more than 20 suspects since the attack, including 10 people believed to have been directly involved.

“There is a large-scale campaign against the extremists,” interior ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told reporters.

Tunisia has seen an upsurge in Islamist extremism since the 2011 revolution that ousted dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring.

The leader of Tunisia’s moderate Islamist party, Ennadha, says the country will continue to be under threat of attack as long as neighboring Libya remains unstable.

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