Gunmen kill 27 in attack on Tunisian coastal resort

Police gathering outside the Tunisian parliament following an attack by gunman on tourists in March 2015 | Photo courtesy of www.elcomercio.es, St. George News

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisian authorities report that at least 27 people have been killed after two gunmen opened fire on a beach near two hotels in the coastal resort city of Sousse.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said security forces intervened immediately Friday and killed one of the attackers, while the other fled the scene.

Rafik Chelli, one of Tunisia’s top security officials, told Mosaique FM that the gunman shot by security forces after attacking a Tunisian beach resort was unknown to authorities.

He said the man, from the city of Kairouan, came from the beach hiding his Kalashnikov under an umbrella before opening fire on the tourists. From there he entered the Hotel Imperial through the pool, shooting people as he went.

Chelli said there were many foreigners among the victims but he did not have an exact count of the nationalities.

He said authorities had a plan to protect the hotels during the month of Ramadan but this was an isolated operation that is difficult to counter against and there is never zero risk.

Sousse, some 150 kilometers from Tunis, is a popular resort for both Tunisians and Europeans.

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.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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