Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has said that a third gunman involved in the recent tragic attack in the country, which left 21 people dead, is still at large.
Essebsi told France’s iTELE television and Europe 1 radio on Sunday that there were three people involved in the deadly attack, adding that two have been killed and security forces have launched a manhunt for the third suspect.
“Definitely there were three,” Essebsi said, adding, “Two were killed, but there is one who is now on the run.”
The slain assailants have been identified as Jabeur Khachnaoui and Yassine Laabidi.
Essebsi further assured that the third fugitive gunman will be arrested soon, saying, “In any case, he will not get very far.”
Essebsi, in an interview with the French weekly Paris Match published Saturday, admitted that security lapses set the stage for the recent tragic attack.
He added that the relevant authorities had failed to deploy enough guards and troops to protect the museum and the nearby parliament.
On March 18, a group of gunmen attacked the National Bardo Museum, located in the capital, Tunis, near the parliament building, killing 21 people. All but one of the victims were foreign tourists.
Tunisian medics carry the body of a Japanese, killed in an attack on the Museum of Bardo in Tunis on March 18, to the Charles Nicole hospital on March 21, 2015. © AFP
The ISIL Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack, which lasted for about four hours.
Tunisia’s Interior Ministry has released security camera footage of the gunmen walking through the Bardo museum during the attack. The one-minute video shows the two men walking through the museum, carrying assault rifles and bags.
The people of Tunisia, the birthplace of pro-democracy protests across North Africa and the Middle East, revolted against the Western-backed dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in 2011. Despite the political stability since then, insurgency and terrorists still threaten the North African country.