World News

Swedish hunters attacked in Tunisia

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A group of Swedes on a hunting trip in Tunisia were attacked Sunday in the capital Tunis, which has been in chaos since the ouster of longtime President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali two days ago.

The 13 men were set upon by locals as they got out of taxis at their hotel and were attacked.

After the assault, they were taken to a police station, where the authorities realised a mistake had been made, said a representative of the company which arranged the trip.

“It was not the police who attacked them, but a mob which attacked when they were getting out of their taxi, they had 10 metres (feet) to go to their hotel,” Inger Eckhardt, one of the owners of the Swedish Hunting Trips company, told Swedish public radio.

The men had come to Tunisia a week ago to hunt wild boars. They had come back into town after their flight had been canceled and that was when they were attacked.

“No one is injured to the extent that they need to go to hospital, they are a little bruised. They are all sitting down at the police station under police protection. The police have promised them an escort and a hotel,” she added.

The correspondent for Swedish Television in Tunis said the men had been attacked as people believed they were some kind of militia as they were carrying weapons’ cases.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry said it was looking into the incident. It had earlier issued a travel warning about Tunisia, advising people against going there due to the unrest.

Eckhardt told Swedish radio that the hunters had arrived in Tunisia a week ago when the situation was less tense.

Reporting by Patrick Lannin; Editing by Jon Boyle