Saturday, 21 March 2015

How We Escaped Tunisia Massacre-Survivors

Holidaymakers wept as they told how they escaped the Tunisia tourist massacre in which a British solicitor was shot dead.

Mum-of-two Sally Adey, 57, was cut down in a hail of gunfire in front of her husband Robert, 52, by Islamic State militants in ­Wednesday’s attack in Tunis, where 23 people died and at least 47 were wounded.

Paula Ayres and her partner Terry Burton were among the 79 Brits on the same ship as the Adeys, MSC Splendida, for a week-long cruise.

They were on a sightseeing tour in a taxi that went past the Bardo museum as the two gunmen struck.
Paula, 57, said: “Our driver was listening to the radio and suddenly stopped and told us he’d have to take us back to the ship.

"When we asked why he made a throat-slitting gesture and said: ‘Eight tourists dead’.”

American Giovanna Gonzalez wept as she told of seeing people shredded by bullets as she ran from the gunmen.

The mum of two, 46, said: “I was on my way out of the museum when the shooting started. They were shooting at everyone. It was total panic.”

She rushed back inside and hid behind a column. Giovanna added: “I spoke to my daughter and told her I didn’t think I would make it alive. She was going mad.”

Twelve of the 3,677 passengers aboard the Splendida, which docked in Barcelona, were killed in the attack.

But Patricia Gould, of Cork, Ireland, said she was warned not to go into Tunis, adding: “The night before one of the waiters told us: ‘Just stay round the boat, it is very dangerous out there’. He saved our lives.”

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi blasted “failures in the entire security system” after it emerged that all four armed guards at the museum were on a coffee break when the gunmen opened fire.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond pledged to send Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism experts to Tunisia to assist with the investigation.

The country hosts 400,000 Brits a year but it is feared the attack could sink its tourism industry.

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