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8 killed in Tunis museum attack

March 18, 2015 at 3:13 pm

At least eight people, including seven tourists, were killed in an attack by gunmen on a local museum in the Tunisian capital, the interior ministry said today.

As-yet-unidentified gunmen stormed the Bardo National Museum, located adjacent to the parliament building, where they took several tourists hostage, ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told reporters.

Fatalities included seven foreign tourists and one Tunisian, the spokesman said.

Another six people were injured in the attack, he said, adding that security forces were currently besieging the museum.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Aroui said security forces had entered the museum and secured the release of most of the hostages, who included women and children.

Some of the injured tourists were rushed to nearby hospitals, he said.

Security forces also evacuated the nearby parliament building and cleared vehicles and civilians from the area, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported.

Helicopters could be seen hovering overhead as security forces besieged the museum.

Aroui said a crisis committee chaired by Prime Minister Habib Essid was meeting at cabinet headquarters in Tunis to follow up on the situation.

President Beji Caid Essebsi, he added, would soon address the nation regarding the incident.

Images by Anadolu Agency