Tunisia Attack
Tunisian police officers guard the entrance of the National Bardo Museum in Tunis March 19, 2015. Militant gunmen killed 20 foreign tourists visiting the national Bardo museum, the worst attack on the north African country in more than a decade. Reuters

On Wednesday, two gunmen opened fire at the National Bardo Museum in Tunisia, in what became the worst terror attack in the area in the past 13 years, leaving at least 21 dead, 17 of them tourists. The assailants were identified as Yassine Laabidi and Hatem Khachnaoui, who were killed by security forces. Authorities have arrested nine people suspected of helping them; four of them with direct connections to the attack, while the others were associates. So far, no link has been established between the gunmen and any terrorist group. (UPDATE: The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.)

Visiting the National Bardo Museum that day was Mexican Jorge Manzur with his family, and his friend Francisco Javier Sáenz and his family. They ended up amongst the chaos and uncertainty of the deadly attacks. Luckily for them, they got out unharmed. But that’s not what Manzur thought at first. He spoke to Milenio Televisión and recounted his frightening experience that day. Tunisia was the last stop of a cruise Manzur, Sáez and their families had taken on vacation. Manzur and his son were at the gift shop, when he realized he had to use the facilities.

As soon as he went to the bathroom, he heard gunshots. He rushed out to search for his son. He went down the stairs and comes face to face with the gunmen. “I see them right in front of me, about 50 feet away” Manzur recounted. “They shot, they shot me point blank but all the bullets reached the wall.” As Manzur couldn’t find his family and coming so close to the shooters, he followed the military operation taking place to prevent more casualties at the museum. Once he was safe, he was able to speak to his family via phone. They were all together along with Sáez and his family.

“Thank God everything worked well for us, my kids are fine, we’re all fine,” Manzur added. In another interview with Adela Micha, he opened up revealing it was a complicated situation due to the movement of people and the amount of gunshots. “They pulled us out of the museum through some hallways connected to the parliament,” said Sáez, adding that the hardest thing out of the whole situation was seeing all the wounded and dead people around.

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