TUNIS, Tunisia — The Islamic terror group ISIS, which also identifies itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on tourists to a museum in North Africa that left over 20 people dead, including the gunmen.
Members of the group posted a statement online on Thursday, calling the bloody rampage a “blessed invasion of one of the dens of infidels and vice in Muslim Tunisia,” and characterizing the two attackers as “knights.”
“Wait for the glad tidings of what will harm you, impure ones, for what you have seen today is the first drop of the rain,” ISIS threatened.
Other Twitter accounts associated with the barbaric Islamic group were reported to have contained statements expressing happiness over the violence.
The situation occurred on Wednesday at the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, as two men wearing military-style uniforms and carrying assault rifles began gunning down tourists as they were exiting a bus visiting the museum. After carrying out the attack, the men went inside the museum to take hostages, and exchanged gunfire with security forces. The two men were killed by the guards, but ISIS claims that it was not until the attackers ran out of ammunition.
The incident left 18 tourists dead, as well as five local Tunisians, including the two gunmen. Officials have identified the two attackers as Yassine Laabidi and Hatem Khachnaoui, and while reports state that it is unclear as to which terror group they trained with, information shows that the men had been trained in Libya.
“They left the country illegally last December for Libya, and they were able to train with weapons there,” Security Minister Rafik Chelly told AlHiwar Ettounsi TV.
“It could have been people who fought with the Islamic State or were inspired by it,” Raffaello Pantucci, director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute, also told the Associated Press. “Some guys may have come back, not liked what the government is doing, and attacked the tourist industry to hurt the economy—a classic move.”
Police in Tunisia have now arrested five individuals who were connected to the gunman, as well as four others who have expressed support for the attack.
In the meantime, the nation is rallying against violence in the country, with a number of area residents taking to the museum on Thursday with signs such as “No to terrorism” and “Tunisia is bloodied but still standing.”
The newly-elected president of the nation has also spoken out against the attack, vowing to put an end to such acts in the nation.
“I want the people of Tunisia to understand firstly and lastly that we are in a war with terror, and these savage minority groups will not frighten us,” Beji Caid Essebsi said in an address that was televised to the North African country. “The fight against them will continue until they are exterminated.”