Hostage fears as gunmen kill foreigners at Tunisia museum

Hostage fears as gunmen kill foreigners at Tunisia museum
Tunisian security forces secure the area

Gunmen have opened fire at a leading museum in Tunisia’s capital, killing at least eight people, authorities said.

UPDATE: Interior ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui said on Wataniya television that seven foreign tourists and one Tunisian were dead. Poland’s foreign ministry announced that three Poles were among the wounded.

The attack on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis prompted the evacuation of Tunisia’s parliament building, which is adjacent to the museum.

Three men dressed in military-style clothing may have taken hostages inside the museum, private radio station Radio Mosaique said.

The museum is a leading tourist attraction that chronicles Tunisia’s history and houses one of the world’s largest collections of Roman mosaics.

It is unclear who the attackers are.

Tunisia recently completed a rocky road to democracy after overthrowing its authoritarian president in 2011.

It has been more stable than other countries in the region but it has struggled with violence by Islamic extremists in recent years, including some linked to Islamic State.

It also has extremists linked to al Qaida’s North Africa arm who occasionally target Tunisian security forces.

A disproportionately large number of Tunisia recruits have joined IS fighters in Syria and Iraq.

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