Tunisia attack: Colombian mother and child among 17 tourists killed

BOGOTA (AFP/Reuters) - Two Colombians killed Wednesday when gunmen stormed Tunisia's national museum were a mother and her child who were enjoying a family holiday, the Foreign Ministry in Bogota said.

The father of the Colombian family survived, the Foreign Ministry in Bogota said on Wednesday, giving no further details.

The Colombians were among 17 tourists of various nationalities and two Tunisians who died in an attack that raised fears for the birthplace of the Arab Spring.

"We lament the death of two Colombians in Tunis and offer condolences to their family," President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter.

Colombia "voices its full commitment to respect for human rights. As such, it underscores Colombia's flat rejection of acts of terror and violence," the Foreign Ministry added.

Victims of the assault on the National Bardo Museum in the country’s capital Tunis also included tourists from France, Spain, Japan, Australia, Italy and Poland, as well as two Tunisians.The tolls given by individual countries differed at times from a detailed breakdown by Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid.He said that among the dead were five Japanese, four Italians, two Colombians and one each from Australia, Poland, France and Spain.The nationality of a 16th victim was not given, while the identity of the final fatality had not yet been established.However, French President Francois Hollande said two French tourists had been killed, and at least seven were wounded, with one in serious condition.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said three Japanese nationals had been killed and three injured in what his government condemned as a “despicable act of terrorism”.

Three Italians and two Spaniards were also among the foreign tourists killed in the attack, their governments said.

The Italian Foreign Ministry gave a toll of three dead and six injured and said the families of the victims had been notified.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said two Spanish citizens had lost their lives in the attack, but did not say whether any Spaniards were injured.

He said the victims were part of a group of tourists who had disembarked from two cruise ships to visit the Tunisian capital Tunis. One of the ships had 60 Spanish nationals on board, the other 30.

"I can't rule out that there will be more dead or injured," the minister said at a press conference broadcast live on television.

In Poland, Lower House Speaker Radoslaw Sikorski, said it was "very likely seven Polish people were killed". The country's Foreign Ministry only confirmed 11 injured.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, speaking at a press conference in Paris alongside his Tunisian counterpart, said six Frenchmen had been hurt in the attack, three of whom were "in a serious condition".

Tunisia's Prime Minister Habib Essid however said one French tourist was among those killed, and a French diplomatic source said two French nationals were killed.

Giving a detailed breakdown which differed from tolls given by individual countries, he said also among the dead were five Japanese, four Italians, two Colombians and one each from Australia, Poland and Spain.

Two British people were “caught up” in a gun attack on Tunisia’s national museum that killed 17 foreign tourists, a spokesman for London’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.The Foreign Office did not clarify whether the two British people had been hurt in the attack in the capital Tunis.“We can confirm that two British nationals were caught up in the shootings in Tunis on Wednesday and that we are providing consular assistance,” the Foreign Office spokesman said.“We are working with the Tunisian authorities as well as with contacts in the tourist industry to establish if any further British nationals have been affected.”“Through our travel advice, we are urging people to exercise caution and follow the instructions of the local authorities.”Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the attack, writing on Twitter: “Appalled by sickening terrorist attack in Tunis - my thoughts are with those affected. UK stands ready to support Tunisia.”

The nationality of a 16th victim was not given, while the identity of the final fatality had not yet been established.

A Tunisian bus driver and a Tunisian policeman also lost their lives when gunmen stormed the National Bardo Museum.

Security forces killed two attackers and were hunting for possible accomplices, the Tunisian premier said.