In the often crusty world of ambassadors' receptions, Boris Boillon cuts quite a dash, no more so than in this month's men's magazine Tunivisions where he is described as the "James Bond of diplomacy."

"/> In the often crusty world of ambassadors' receptions, Boris Boillon cuts quite a dash, no more so than in this month's men's magazine Tunivisions where he is described as the "James Bond of diplomacy."

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TUNISIA

Ambassador strikes smouldering pose for men’s mag

In the often crusty world of ambassadors' receptions, Boris Boillon cuts quite a dash, no more so than in this month's men's magazine Tunivisions where he is described as the "James Bond of diplomacy."

Ambassador strikes smouldering pose for men's mag
Screenshot

The September issue of the Tunisian men’s magazine features France’s ambassador to Tunisia on its cover in a dark suit, adjusting his cuffs and smiling seductively at the camera. 

It’s not the first time a photograph of the 41-year-old ambassador has caused some raised eyebrows.

He created a stir earlier in the year when a photograph of him in a snug pair of swimming trunks was posted on the French website for old class mates, Copains d’Avant. Coincidentally, perhaps, the swimwear he was sporting in the picture were not so far removed in design from those worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, his first film as the British secret service agent.

The photograph so enraged the far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen that she appeared on a news programme brandishing the racy picture and demanding the ambassador’s dismissal “for the honour and dignity of the French and for the dignity of the Tunisians.”

In the September issue of Tunivisions, the 41-year-old explains that his qualities include “courage and frankness” while he is guilty of being “impetuous.” He uses a motto of the French philosopher Henri Bergson when he says he “thinks like a man of action and acts like a man of thought.”

Boillon was appointed as ambassador in February this year but had a rough start when he rubbished local journalists’ questions during a meeting as “dumb and stupid.” 

The comments caused offence leading to hundreds of people protesting outside the French embassy in the capital, Tunis. Boillon later appeared on television to apologize for his outburst.

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TERRORISM

Third French tourist dies after Tunis terror attack

UPDATED: Tunisia's minister of health announced on Friday that a third French national was among those killed in the terror attack on the Bardo museum. In all 20 tourists lost their lives in the attack.

Third French tourist dies after Tunis terror attack
People protest outside the Tunisian General Consulate in the southern French city of Marseille on March 19, 2015. Photo: AFP

The Tunisian health minister announced that another French national was among the 20 tourists who had been killed in Wednesday's terror attack.

The identities of two of the French nationals were revealed on Thursday: 72-year-old Jean-Claude Tissier, from d'Aussillon in Tarn, southern France, and Christophe Tinois, a 59-year-old horse breeder from Castelsarrasin in south-western France.

Both were passengers on a cruise with the MSC Spendida, the tour company confirmed on Thursday. It remains unknown if the as yet unnamed third French victim was also part of the tour. 
 
Authorities in Tunisia are still trying to identify three other victims of the attack.


(Photo: Sofiane Hamdouia/AFP)

Tunisia said the two gunmen who killed 21 people at its national museum trained at a militant camp in Libya, as the country marked its Independence Day in sombre fashion Friday.

The Islamic State jihadist group has claimed Wednesday's attack on foreign tourists in Tunis, the deadliest since Tunisia's 2011 revolution which sparked the Arab Spring regional uprisings.

The two assailants "left the country illegally last December for Libya and they were able to train with weapons there," Secretary of State for Security Rafik Chelly told Tunisian television.

IS, which has hundreds of Tunisians among its ranks, threatened more attacks in an audio message posted online Thursday claiming responsibility for the museum massacre.

Authorities say as many as 3,000 Tunisians have gone to Iraq, Syria and Libya to fight in jihadist ranks, raising fears of battle-hardened militants returning home to plot attacks.

Chelly named locations of several suspected training camps for Tunisians in violence-wracked Libya, including the second city Benghazi and the coastal town of Derna, which has become a stronghold for jihadists.

The president's office said security forces arrested nine suspects — "four people directly linked to the (terrorist) operation and five suspected of having ties to the cell".

And a presidential source said soldiers were to be deployed in major cities following the assault, while insisting "we are not under siege".

As international outrage grew over the attack on Tunisia — hailed as a rare success story of the Arab Spring — President Beji Caid Essebsi said his country would not be cowed by extremism.

"The process of implementing a democratic system is underway, well anchored," he told France's TF1 television. "We will never move backwards."

Essebsi was set to make a speech Friday to mark the anniversary of Tunisia's independence from France in 1956, though celebrations were dimmed after Wednesday's carnage.


(Tunisian security forces secure the area after gunmen attacked. Photo: AFP)


(Photo: AFP)

EU 'shocked' by terrorist attack

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said the EU "stands with Tunisia in its commitment to peace and democracy".

"I am shocked by today's terrorist attack at the Bardo museum in Tunis," Tusk said in a statement.

"The European Union and Tunisia will not be intimidated by terrorism, at home or abroad. We are ready to support the Tunisian government in its actions against violent extremism and commend its speedy action to free the hostages involved," he added.


(The map above shows the museum, with Parliament attached from the lower right.)

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