TUNIS, Tunisia, March 29 (UPI) -- Thousands of demonstrators, including leaders from Italy and France, took to the streets of Tunis Sunday in an anti-terrorism unity rally, just hours after a prime suspect in attacks against a museum earlier this month was killed by Tunisian security services.
The Tunisian government said that just hours before the march it killed nine militants suspected of carrying out the March 18 attack on Bardo Museum, which resulted in the deaths of two militants, a Tunisian security guard and 21 tourists from Japan, France, Poland, Spain, Colombia and Britain.
Lokman Abu Sakhra, an Algerian fighter in al-Qaida's North African affiliate, the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade, and the suspected leader of the attack, was among those killed during the raid in Sidi Aich, near the Algerian border, officials said.
Under the slogan "Le Monde est Bardo" (The World is Bardo), tens of thousands of Tunisians later marched to Bardo Museum in Tunis, chanting "Tunisia is free! Terrorism out!"
French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi were among leaders from Palestine, Poland, Belgium, Libya and Algeria attending a ceremony in which a stone tablet was dedicated to the memory of the victims.
"We had four French citizens killed there, victims of terrorism, so it was necessary to participate in this march," Hollande said, according to the BBC. "Today it's about Tunisia, and the values it represents in the Arab world and beyond."