At least 27 people have been killed in an attack on beaches outside two Tunisian tourist hotels, the Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui has said. He also said that the death toll could rise.
Aroui said most of the victims in the attack were tourists, without specifying their nationalities. However, local media said those who were killed were mostly German and British nationals.
One of the hotels is the five-star Imperial Marhaba, in Sousse central Tunisia.
Panic is being reported at the scene.
It has been reported that at least two gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles penetrated the hotels private beach area and opened fire.
One of the gunmen, shot by security forces after the attack, was unknown to authorities, Tunisia’s top security official Rafik Chelli told Mosaique FM. He said the man was from the Tunisian city of Kairouan
* Update: David Cameron has called a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee following Fridays the attacks in France and Tunisia.
** Friday’s attack resulted in 28 deaths with British, German and Belgian nationals are among the victims, Tunisia’s health ministry said in a statement, Reuters reported.
Other unconfirmed sources put the deathtoll at 6-13, including the suspected gunner.
“It happened about half an hour ago – I heard a bang and I thought it was thunder but it was a clear sky so it obviously wasn’t,” a witness told Sky News. “I heard sirens going off about 20 minutes ago and everyone came running back from the private hotel beach which is about 400 metres from the hotel. Everyone is a bit clueless about what is happening.”
“We were told to go back to our rooms because there were reports of a bomb,” another witness staying at a hotel near-by also told The Daily Mail.
The hotel is in the tourist complex of Port El Kantaoui, some 10 km off the city of Sousse in central Tunisia.
Photos showing at least two dead bodies on the beach are circulating the web.
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