Tunisia museum attack: Briton among 22 dead

Tunisian security forces secure the area after gunmen attacked Tunis' famed Bardo Museum. Picture: Getty

Tunisian security forces secure the area after gunmen attacked Tunis' famed Bardo Museum. Picture: Getty

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A “MUCH-loved” British woman was killed during a terrorist attack at an archaeological museum in Tunisia reportedly carried out by Islamic State.

Mother-of-two Sally Adey, 57, was among at least 23 people killed on Wednesday during the assault by two gunmen on the Bardo Museum in the capital Tunis.

The museum is a leading tourist attraction that chronicles Tunisia's history and houses one of the world's largest collections of Roman mosaics.  Picture: CC

The museum is a leading tourist attraction that chronicles Tunisia's history and houses one of the world's largest collections of Roman mosaics. Picture: CC

Mrs Adey, a solicitor from Shropshire, was on an excursion with her husband Robert at the time of the attack. He is believed to be unharmed.

The couple were on a holiday cruise aboard the MSC Splendida, which docked at the port in Tunis early on Wednesday.

Islamic State issued a statement claiming responsibility for the killings yesterday.

The jihadi group called the attack a “blessed invasion of one of the dens of infidels and vice in Muslim Tunisia”.

“We are currently liaising with our members and the Foreign Office to assess the impact and understand if any British nationals have been caught up in the attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis”

Abta spokesperson

It claimed that the two attackers were not killed until they ran out of bullets and promised further attacks.

According to US-based SITE Intelligence Group, it said: “Wait for the glad tidings of what will harm you, impure ones, for what you have seen today is the first drop of the rain.”

Julia Holden, a close friend of the Adey family and partner at Shakespeares Solicitors in Birmingham where Mr Adey works, issued a statement on their behalf.

She said: “Sally Adey was a much-loved daughter, wife and mother. The family are devastated by her loss.

“They are also saddened for others who have lost people they love, and for those who have been hurt.”

David Crawshaw, who was the Adeys’ neighbour in Shifnal, Shropshire, for more than a decade, said of the couple: “They were both solicitors and they have got a son and daughter – Harry and Molly – who are in their early 20s.

“They were really the sort of neighbours you want – a fine, hard-working family – and Sally will be missed by us.” Tunisia’s health minister said 18 foreign tourists were killed during the attack, including visitors from Japan, Italy, Colombia, Australia, France and Poland.

Said Aidi told a press conference that five Tunisians also died, including the two gunmen.

Nine people have been arrested in connection with the attack, Tunisian officials said.

Five of those arrested were directly connected to the operation, while four others were linked to the attackers and were based outside the capital.

Moncef Hamdoun, an official with the Charles Nicolle hospital where many victims were taken, said seven of the dead remain unidentified.

Tunisian authorities identified the two gunmen as Yassine Laabidi and Hatem Khachnaoui.

Laabidi was known to Tunisian intelligence services, the country’s prime minister Habib Essid confirmed. UK holiday companies Thomson and First Choice said they had cancelled excursions to Tunis “for the coming days”.

The firms said their holidaymakers were in beach resorts rather than Tunis, with cancellations made “as a precaution”.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “These terrorist attacks yesterday in Tunisia were an appalling and brutal outrage.

“In the end, our values – freedom of speech, democracy, the rule of law – they will win through. We must show the persistence and consistency to make sure they do, but I’m confident they will.”

MSC Cruises confirmed that the Adeys were among 79 UK passengers – as well as ten from the Republic of Ireland – aboard the Splendida.

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