At least 19 people including 17 foreign tourists are reported to have been killed in an attack by gunmen at a museum in Tunis.
There are some reports that tourists have also been taken hostage.
Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid confirmed the deaths and said up to five attackers and 22 tourists had been injured.
The shooting took place at the Bardo Museum in the Tunisian capital. The BBC reported tourists from Italy, Spain, Germany and Poland among the dead.
Local radio reported Italian, Polish, Spanish, South African, French and Japanese tourists among the injured, according to the BBC.
The Bardo Museum is a major tourist attraction located next to the Tunisian parliament, which was in session when the shootings took place.
Reuters reported about 160 tourists had been rescued from the museum, but 20 to 30 remained inside.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) urged British travellers to Tunis to avoid the area around the Tunisian parliament building and Bardo Museum until further notice and follow the instructions of the Tunisian security authorities.
A spokesperson for Abta said “We are liaising with our members and the Foreign Office to assess the impact and understand if any British Nationals have been caught up in the attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis.
“Abta members have reported they have approximately 6,500 customers in Tunisia though very few are staying in Tunis.
“As a precaution, many Abta tour operators have cancelled local excursions to Tunis due to depart over the next few days.”
Tunisia attracts more than 400,000 UK visitors each year, with the vast majority travelling to resorts on the coast.
MSC Cruises’ ship MSC Splendida was in La Goulette, Tunis, at the time of the shootings.
The line said some guests were on shore excursions, including to the Bardo National Museum, when the attack took place.
MSC said: “All MSC Cruises coaches on tour at the time of the events were immediately ordered back to the port and all other excursions and ground activities were immediately suspended.
“MSC Cruises is in close contact with the relevant national and international authorities, local authorities, the ship captain as well as with the port agent to monitor the situation as it unfolds.”
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