Japan says 3 killed, 3 hurt in Tunisia museum attack
TOKYO – Three Japanese were killed, and three others injured, in the militant attack on tourists in Tunisia, the Japanese government said Thursday.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said an earlier report of five Japanese dead turned out to be wrong after officials checked names by talking to the families travelling together and visiting hospitals.
The Tunisian prime minister had said that five Japanese were among the 19 victims.Suga refused to release the names of the Japanese victims, saying approval was needed first from their families. The three others are being treated at hospitals but their conditions were not immediately known, he said.
Noriko Yuki, 35, who was injured in the attack, told a nationally televised interview with Japanese public television from her hospital bed that she was shot soon after she heard gunshots outside of the Bardo museum and a tour guide told her group to move to another room.
“Then gunshots came from behind, and everyone started running. I fell over, and next moment I was shot,” she told NHK from her hospital bed, still looking pale and wearing a big bandage covering injuries to her left ear and cheek, where she was shot. She was also shot in the left hand. “I just curled up, covering my head with both hands.”
Yuki’s 68-year-old mother Nobuko was shot in the neck and was taken to another hospital for treatment. Her condition was not immediately known. “My mother couldn’t even move when police came to rescue us,” Yuki said in a teary voice.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strongly condemned the attack, saying “terrorism cannot be tolerated under any circumstances,” and the Foreign Ministry issued a travel advisory urging Japanese visitors to Tunisia to use full caution.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, on a visit to Tokyo, said: “I want to express our condolences over the horrific events yesterday in Tunisia. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those killed they are very much in our thoughts and prayers today.”
The victims were killed by two militants who burst from a vehicle and began gunning down tourists getting off buses at the museum.