'Tunisians are in shock' after a massacre in Tunis

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Carol Hills: Heartbreaking details are emerging now about the victims of yesterday’s terrorist attack in Tunisia. Twenty of those who died were tourists, like the couple from Barcelona, celebrating their 50th anniversary with a cruise and a visit to a museum in Tunis. The gunman opened fire on the tourists as they arrived at the museum. A Tunisian bus driver and a police officer were also killed in the carnage. Today, the so-called Islamic State extremist group, also known as ISIL, claimed responsibility. Journalist Adnen Chaouachi was at the scene of the attack yesterday and he’s back there now to cover a demonstration against extremism. Adnen, paint the scene for us. What’s going on around you?

 

Adnen Chaouachi: At least 3,000 people are gathered in front of the main door of the museum, the same place and the same time where the counterterrorist operation took place yesterday at the parking lot where the buses were left yesterday.

 

Hills: Two gunmen are dead. What do we know about them so far?

 

Chaouachi: We know that one was born in 1986 or ‘88 and the second one born in 1991. One of them probably came back from Syria a few months ago where he joined the so-called ISIL terrorist group and the second one was maybe trained in Libya before committing this horrible crime.

 

Hills: They’re both Tunisian, aren’t they?

 

Chaouachi: Yes, they are both Tunisian, from the same city, a small town in the south of the country. It’s worth mentioning that one of them was a rapper a few years ago before becoming an extremist. Also, 12 million Tunisians believe that Islam is a religion of tolerance and is also a religion of peace.

 

Hills: Tunisian officials also have said that nine arrests have been made. What do we know about those who have been arrested?

 

Chaouachi: Some of them provided logistical means and support to the terrorists who committed the attack yesterday. Some funded them, and some were their friends.

 

Hills: How deep of a shock is this for Tunisians?

 

Chaouachi: I just want to tell you a story that’s very telling about the reality in Tunisia--yesterday, it was my day off, and I thought maybe I could come here and bring my two kids and my two nephews to the museum. I live five kilometers from it. I said “Maybe this could be an interesting visit.” But I thank God that I did not come here and that my kids and my nephews are safe. But I’m very sad--deeply sad--for the loss of lives of the tourists who are foreigners, but when they come to Tunisia and visit, they are a part of our country and are welcomed here. So, even if it’s a tourist that died in a terrorist attack, again, he could be a member of our family. So, Tunisians are shocked and very sad for the loss of these tourists who are innocent who came here just to visit the country and discover it. They died in very, very sad and shocking circumstances.

 

Hills: Journalist Adnen Chaouachi in Tunis. Thank you so much Adnen.

 

Chaouachi: Thank you very much.