ISIS claims responsibility for Tunis museum attack

(AGI) Tunis, March 19 - ISIS has claimed credit for the attackon the Bardo Museum in Tunis, warning it was only the "firstdrop of the rain" that has brought "terror into the hearts ofthe infidels". The extremist militants stated on Twitter thatthey killed and injured "dozens of crusaders and apostates" andtook "a group of evil citizens of the crusader states" hostage.The latest tally is of 21 dead, on top of two of theterrorists, and 47 injured. At least 18 of the victims weretourists, in addition to a security agent, a bus driver,

(AGI) Tunis, March 19 - ISIS has claimed credit for the attackon the Bardo Museum in Tunis, warning it was only the "firstdrop of the rain" that has brought "terror into the hearts ofthe infidels". The extremist militants stated on Twitter thatthey killed and injured "dozens of crusaders and apostates" andtook "a group of evil citizens of the crusader states" hostage.The latest tally is of 21 dead, on top of two of theterrorists, and 47 injured. At least 18 of the victims weretourists, in addition to a security agent, a bus driver, andone of the museum's cleaning ladies. Four of those killed wereItalians: two deaths were immediately verified, while thebodies of the remaining two were identified by Italian embassypersonnel in Tunis and a crisis unit that the Italian foreignministry sent to the morgue in the Charles Nicolle hospital.Photographic evidence showed that the victims were the twoItalians that had gone missing, but the recognition will not beofficial until the bodies are identified by family members, anumber of whom will reach Tunis in the upcoming hours. Two moremissing Italians were also found; one was seriously injured. ASpanish couple from Valencia that had been reported as missinghad in fact remained hidden near the museum for 24 hours.Tunisia is in a state of shock following the most ferociousattack ever carried out in the country after one at a synagoguein Djerba in 2002. Tunisia, an example of stability andopenness in the Arab world following the Arab Spring that wassparked by its very citizens, has responded by tightening itsranks. President Beji Caid Essebsi has stated that the nationis "at war" to uproot terrorism. Nine people have beenarrested, with four directly connected to the attack, and fivesuspected of having ties with the terrorist cell. The twoattackers were identified as Yassine Laabidi, from IbnKhaldoun, and Hatem Khachnaoui, of Kasserine, who haddisappeared for three months. Khachnaoui's father and sisterwere arrested at their home in Sbiba. Tunisia's Prime Minister,Habib Essid, revealed that one of the terrorists was alreadyknown to Tunisian intelligence. Prior to ISIS claimingresponsibility, a Twitter account tied to the Islamic Statepublished a picture of one of the Italian victims. "Thiscrusader was crushed by the lions of monotheism", the jihadistpost stated. Italy is currently under "maximum alert", saidForeign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, though "there aren't reportsof specific threats; the threat is global". "We should not drawalarmist or unreasonable conclusions, nor should we give up ourfreedoms," he added. (AGI).