'At least seven dead' as gunmen attack two hotels in Tunisia

Two gunmen have opened fire at a beach near two hotels on the Tunisian coast, killing at least seven people, according to the Interior Ministry.

One of the gunmen was killed and police are pursuing the other after the attack in the resort of Sousse, said spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui.

He said that one gunmen had been killed and another is being pursued. He warned that the death toll could rise.

Susan Rickett, at the Palm Marina Hotel near Sousse, told Sky: “My sister was talking to someone who had seen some people shooting and had shot someone on a sun bed but we don’t know if that’s true.

“It sounded like a machine gun going off... and there was a kind of explosion a little bit later.

“They’re saying its going on in the hotel next to us. Police were chasing some men, that’s all I know.”

Sousse, about 90 miles from Tunis, is a popular resort for Tunisians and Europeans.

David Schofield, who heard an explosion while sunbathing by the pool, told Sky News: “We heard people saying there were guns on the beach and people were shooting on the beach.

“I don’t know what’s going on. I went to reception and they said the police have told us to get everyone inside.”

British holidaymaker Gary Pine is staying in the El Mouradi Palm Marina hotel close to where the incident happened.

Situated at the back of the hotel, near the pool area, he told Sky News by phone that he could no longer hear any noise and said the hotel was "very, very quiet" at that stage, but said it would have been very busy.

"The beach tends to be full up very quickly so it's the usual story of getting down to lay your towel at half past six to get a decent beach position, so all of the beach positions were taken," he said.

Mr Pine said that at the front of his hotel alone there would have been "several hundred" people, and he said he could see every resort along and there would have been "several hundred" more outside the others.

"So it's quite a busy beach.

"There's a lot of people walking up and down, taking in this lovely weather, so it's a very busy beach, but as I said it became apparent very quick that it was something more than firecrackers when you could hear bullets whizzing around," he said.

Tunisia has been battered by attacks by militants, most recently in March when two Tunisians returning from Libya killed 22 people at the national museum.


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