Two Spaniards were among the 19 people killed in Wednesday’s gun attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, according to Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallos. While the head of Spain’s diplomatic branch did not want to reveal the names of the dead until their families were advised, other sources confirmed that the victims were a retired couple from Catalonia, Antonio Cirera Pérez, 75, and Dolores Sánchez Rami, 73.
Last night the Foreign Ministry was still searching for two other Spanish tourists, who had not returned to their cruise ship.
In a brief appearance before the media in Valencia, Margallo warned of the “huge confusion” surrounding the failed attack against the Tunisian parliament, which ended with the attackers taking hostages at the nearby museum. “The Tunisian authorities are completely overwhelmed,” explained the minister.
The Spanish victims lived in the Barcelona neighbourhood of Camp de L’Arpa, near the Sant Pau hospital. Antonio Cirera Pérez had worked until his retirement as a chemist at the Moritz brewery. The couple had two sons, Alfonso Congostrina reports. “He was a very active person and loved sports,” explained a neighbour who wanted to remain anonymous. “Every Wednesday he went for a walk in Collserola,” a mountain outside the city.
Margallo explained that both were part of a group of 90 tourists who had arrived in the Tunisian capital on board two cruises operated by the companies Costa Cruceros and MSC.
More than 25,000 Spaniards traveled to Tunisia “without any problems” in 2013, according to ministry data.