UK
19/03/2015 12:06 GMT | Updated 19/03/2015 12:59 GMT

British Tunisia Museum Shooting Victim Named As Sally Adey

British woman Sally Adey was killed in the terror attack in Tunisia, according to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, one of two Britons "caught up" in the shootings in capital Tunis yesterday.

The confirmation of the British woman's death, initially reported by the Tunisian health ministry, came as MSC Cruises said nine people who had been sailing on its vessel Splendida had been killed in the attack and 12 had been injured.

Seventeen tourists and two Tunisians were killed when gunmen stormed the country's national museum yesterday. Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the terror attacks as an "appalling and brutal outrage".

It was later reported that two Spanish tourists have been found alive after spending the night hiding inside an office with a museum employee. They have since been taken to hospital on Thursday for medical checks, a civil protection official told AFP.

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Tunisian security forces stand guard near the National Bardo Museum in Tunis

Prime Minister Habib Essid said the two Tunisian gunmen killed five tourists from Japan, four from Italy, two from Colombia, two from Spain, and one each from Australia, Poland and France. The British woman's nationality was only disclosed later.

Pictures from a Tunisian TV station showed hostages appearing to flee the building while security officers covered them.

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MSC Cruises said in a statement: "MSC Cruises confirms that its ship MSC Splendida left the port of La Goulette, Tunis, this morning. "MSC Splendida received the authorisation from the relevant authorities to leave the port of La Goulette and is heading, as originally scheduled, to Barcelona where it is currently expected to arrive at 9am on Friday.

"MSC Cruises is present on site with its crisis team in order to continue to provide key assistance on the ground to MSC Splendida's guests who were involved in the tragic events and needing assistance.

"MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, will be arriving in Tunis in the coming hours in order to make a close assessment of the situation, meet in person as well as arrange to provide assistance to those affected by these tragic events and their relatives and consult with local authorities."

The company said Splendida, with 3,714 passengers and 1,267 crew aboard, had arrived at La Goulette on Wednesday morning and that passengers had visited the Bardo museum.

MSC went on: "During the visit at the museum, some of MSC Cruises' guests were caught in the middle of a terrorist attack along with guests from another cruise line.

"As soon as the company heard of the attack and the fact that some of its guests were involved this tragedy, regular stringent safety procedures were set in motion and the ship management called for the immediate cancellation of all on-going shore excursions and recall all buses and their passengers on the ground back to the ship."

It added that security on board was also immediately raised to Level 3, its highest level.

On Wednesday night, parliament held an extraordinary session where Speaker Mohammed Ennaceur called for the creation of a special fund to combat terrorism. He also called for the rapid passage of the anti-terror law that parliament had been debating when the attack took place.

Hours after the police ended the siege, thousands of Tunisians flocked to downtown's landmark Bourguiba Avenue, where the revolution took place, for a nighttime rally. They chanted for a "Free Tunisia" in defiance of terrorism.

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A group of people hold banners and shout slogans during a protest against a terrorist gunmen attack

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A protest against a terrorist gunmen attack at the Bardo Museum

Essid said the attack was an unprecedented assault on the economy. It came as Tunisia's all-important tourism business was starting to rebuild after drastic losses following the post-revolutionary turmoil. Numbers of arrivals for 2014 had begun to approach the levels of 2010 — before the revolution.

It was the worst attack in the country since an al-Qaida militant detonated a truck bomb in front of a historic synagogue on the Tunisia's island of Djerba in 2002, killing 21, mostly German tourists.

Tunisia has been more stable than other countries in the region, but has struggled with violence by Islamic extremists who have sworn allegiance to both al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.

A disproportionately large number of Tunisian recruits — some 3,000, according to government estimates — have joined Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq and many have received training in neighboring Libya.

North Africa analyst Geoff Porter said an attack on a tourism site has long been expected as the militants come under pressure from increasingly effective Tunisian security forces. "Today's attack did not come out of nowhere. In fact, it comes amid ongoing counterterrorism efforts elsewhere in the country," he said about the attack. "Increasing pressure on terrorist activities ... may have squeezed the balloon, with terrorists seeking softer targets with more symbolic impact in the capital."

Gunmen reportedly take hostages at Tunisia museum