Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Tunisia: Islamists Attack Parliament, Museum and Hold Tourist Hostages.

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‘Hostage situation’ in Tunis as parliament, museum come under attack

Published time: March 18, 2015 11:46

The Tunisian Parliament has come under attack, with lawmakers saying gunfire can be heard at the scene. Local reporters tweet militants entered the Bardo Museum through the parliament, taking several tourists hostage.

Militants dressed as soldiers are attacking the Tunisia Assembly, local journalists say. The parliament is located in Bardo Palace, which is also home to a national museum.

Several tourists have been taken hostage, according to Radio Mosaique FM.

Tunisian security forces have surrounded at least two militants believed to be holding hostages at a museum in the country’s parliament grounds.

Private radio station Radio Mosaique said that three men dressed in military-style clothing may have taken hostages inside the museum.

Latest news directly from Tunisia talks of around 20 Tourist hostages.

Un grand nombre de touristes ont été pris en otages par 3 ou 4 individus armés qui se sont présentés au musée en tenue militaire. 

D’après les premiers faits rapportés il y aurait un certain nombre de blessés, voir même de morts, enregistrés suite au coups de feu tirés sur les tourristes qui venaient de descendre du bus qui les transportait au musée.

D’après les déclarations faites par un guide touristiques au correspondant de mosaïque fm sur place une vingtaine de touristes dont retenus en otages , vu qu’une centaine d’entre eux ont pu être évacués d’urgence par la porte arrière du musée dès que les premiers coups de feu ont été tirés.

Direct Info (Tunsia).

Libération reports.


Des tirs ont été entendus au musée national, situé dans le même bâtiment que le Parlement ce mercredi.


There were unverified reports that a foreign tourist or tourists may have been taken hostage at the Bardo museum.

Shortly before, exchanges of gunfire were heard at Tunisia‘s parliament building, the country’s state news agency reported.

Parliamentary committees suspended their meetings as MPs were ordered to assemble in the main chamber, Islamist MP Monia Brahim told AFP.

A witness near the parliament told Reuters a large police presence was moving to evacuate the building.

The Bardo museum chronicles Tunisia’s history and includes one of the world’s largest collections of Roman mosaics.

Tunisia has struggled with violence by Islamic extremists since overthrowing a dictator in 2011.


This does not come out of the blue,

The Ministry of Interior announced on Monday the arrest of 22 militants working in four alleged terrorist cells recruiting young Tunisians to fight in Libya. The ministry also announced an additional 10 other militants were also arrested while attempting to cross into Libya to join militant groups.

The two successful operations were led by the National Unity of Investigation for Terrorist Crimes.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the four cells discovered operating in Kairouan were responsible for recruiting young Tunisians, with a focus on targeting students to join militants in Libya. “This terrorist network is collaborating with dangerous Tunisian terrorists active in Libya, and working to supervise training camps with their counterparts from different countries,” a statement by the Ministry of Interior said.

The Ministry of Interior also stated it seized around ten thousand dinars and 200 Euros in cash, iPads, memory cards as well as mobile phones.

Tunisia Live.


Al Qaeda admit Tunisian terror attack

A known al Qaeda spokesman said in a voice recording broadcast today that the militant group was behind a deadly suicide attack at a Tunisian synagogue in April which killed 21 people, including 14 Germans.

It was the first direct claim of al Qaeda involvement in the blast near El Ghriba synagogue on the resort island of Djerba. German government ministers had earlier said there was evidence linking the blast to the militant network.

“This operation was carried out by al Qaeda network. A youth could not see his brothers in Palestine butchered and murdered…(while) he saw Jews cavorting in Djerba,” Sulaiman bu Ghaith said in the undated recording broadcast by Qatar-based al-Jazeera channel.

“So this spirit of jihad surged and he (the al Qaeda member) carried out this successful operation, may God accept it,” said bu Ghaith, who emerged as an al Qaeda spokesman after the September 11 attacks, which Washington blames on al Qaeda.

It was not clear when the tape was received or where bu Ghaith was speaking from. He has spoken about al Qaeda activities on Web sites and Middle Eastern news channels.

For many people in the world, including this Blog, Tunisia is a hero nation, and its people have shown their best side in recent years.

If we hear any Stop the War Coalition or SWP spokesperson opining on this unfolding tragedy – no doubt to say that Tunisia will be safe from Islamic killers if it stops invading the Middle East – we shall vomit.


Written by Andrew Coates

March 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm

7 Responses

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  1. “If we hear any Stop the War Coalition or SWP spokesperson opining on this unfolding tragedy – no doubt to say that Tunisia will be safe from Islamic killers if it stops invading the Middle East – we shall vomit.”

    They will no doubt be given a platform to do just that in the Guardian in the next couple of days.


    March 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm

  2. It is desperately sad: all our love and solidarity to the victims’ families and to the Tunisian people.

    “At least 19 people, including 17 foreign tourists, were killed Wednesday when gunmen stormed Tunisia’s national museum and took several hostages, according to the country’s Prime Minister Habib Essid.

    State TV said that two gunmen and a policeman were killed and that the hostage crisis was over.

    Italian, Spanish, German and Polish nationals were among those killed, as well as a Tunisian, Essid said.

    An official at the Italian foreign ministry in Rome earlier said that two Italians had been wounded in the attack. About another 100 Italians were in the area and had been taken to safety by Tunisian police, authorities added.

    Live television footage of the hostage-taking earlier showed other tourists running for shelter, covered by armed police units surrounding the Bardo Museum, which is near the parliament building in central Tunis.

    The attack on such a high-profile target is a huge blow for a country that relies heavily on European tourism and has so far avoided major militant violence since its 2011 uprising to oust autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

    Tunisia’s uprising inspired “Arab Spring” revolts in neighbouring Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen. But its adoption of a new constitution and staging of largely peaceful elections has won widespread praise and put Tunisia in stark contrast to the chaos that has plagued those countries.

    Several militant groups have emerged in Tunisia since the uprising, including Ansar al Sharia which is listed as a terrorist organisation by the United States.

    Authorities estimate 3,000 Tunisians have also joined militant groups in Iraq and Syria, including the Islamic State (IS) group and some have returned home, increasing government fears of an attack on Tunisian soil.

    Islamic State group affiliates in Libya are gaining a foothold as two rival governments there battle for control. A senior Tunisian militant was killed while fighting for Islamic State group in the Libyan city of Sirte over the past week, authorities said.

    (FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)”


    Andrew Coates

    March 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm

  3. Presumably at least part of the rationale for this attack is to do maximum damage to the tourist industry. In which case your most useful act of solidarity would be to go there on holiday.


    March 18, 2015 at 7:37 pm

  4. @Francis – i dont want to go there on holiday. actually, i was thinking about going to north africa for a holiday. morocco sounds safe still, but many will think twice.

    i think the John Rees/Counterfire alliance with George Galloway and Respect did change an aspect of the far left in the UK. not everybody went along with this line, of course, but enough of a majority did that it has quite a bit of effect. i mean, Counterfire pack a more powerful punch than most left wing groups of their small size because they have such good media connections. Hell, John Rees and Galloway have worked for Press TV and they are the leadership of STWC.

    i imagine these events in tunisia will strenghten the hand of Marine Le Pen even more in France.


    March 19, 2015 at 12:58 am

  5. Kimchee if the human race do not get a grip with the Jihadists there will be no place to hide. Forget about holidays. The Islamic hatred has been preached in Britain from at least the seventies. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars are an excuse by the left. The Grand Mufti of Palestine was calling for and involved in the destruction of Jews. It is time to ignore the excuses like the poor wee girls from London being groomed. They knew exactly the horrors being carried out by ISIS and left London to join in.

    Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies

    March 19, 2015 at 2:09 am

  6. Excellent piece, Andrew (as I’d expect). Have reblogged it at Shiraz: https://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/tunisia-the-latest-islamist-outrage/

    Jim Denham

    March 19, 2015 at 9:58 am

  7. Just out,

    “By Staff writer | Al Arabiya News
    Thursday, 19 March 2015
    A United Nations investigation has concluded that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may have committed genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq, urging the International Criminal Court to prosecute the militant group.

    In a report based on interviews with more than 100 alleged victims and witnesses, the United Nations human rights office called on the Security Council to refer the situation to the ICC for prosecution of perpetrators.

    The inquiry also found that the Iraqi government, along with militias affiliated with its forces, may have committed “some war crimes.”

    The U.N. Human Rights Council launched its inquiry in September after the Islamist militant group, seized large swathes of northern Iraq.

    It found “information that points to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” and that the Security Council should “consider referring the situation in Iraq to the International Criminal Court.”

    There was a “manifest pattern of attacks” by ISIS on Yazidis as well as Christians and other minorities as it laid siege to towns and villages in Iraq.

    The U.N. investigators also cited allegations that ISIS had used chlorine gas, a prohibited chemical weapon, against Iraqi soldiers in the western province of Anbar in September.

    Captured women and children were treated as “spoils of war,” and often subjected to rape or sexual slavery, it said.

    The report said that ISIS’s Islamic sharia courts in Mosul had also meted out cruel punishments including stoning and amputation.

    “Thirteen teenage boys were sentenced to death for watching a football match,” it said.

    The U.N. investigators said it was “widely alleged” that Iraqi government forces had used barrel bombs, an indiscriminate weapon banned by international law, but this required further investigation.”


    Andrew Coates

    March 19, 2015 at 1:15 pm

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