Militants attacking Tunisia's Parliament compound Wednesday killed at least eight tourists and took a handful of others hostage, according to government officials and media reports. After the attack, Tunisian security forces surrounded two militants at the Bardo Museum in Tunis inside the compound, an interior ministry spokesman said.
Radio Mosaique reported that three men dressed in military-style clothing were behind the attack. Two explosions from grenades thrown by the alleged terrorists were heard at the scene, according to journalist Med Dhia Hammami, who is based in Tunis. Images published on social media sites suggested that as many as 30 hostages were being held in the museum, according to the Telegraph.
Sayida Ounissi, a member of Parliament, described the attack as it unfolded. "In addition to members of Parliament, the minister of justice, some judges, and several high-level army offices [sic] were at the location," Ounissi said on Twitter.
The Bardo Museum depicts Tunisia's history and houses one of the world's largest collections of Roman mosaics. Tourism Minister Selma Elluni Rekik told media officials Tuesday that Tunisia was safe for tourists and denied reports of growing terrorism-linked risks in the country. ''Of course the situation in Libya does not help,'' she told ANSA, referring to the spread of Islamic State group militants, ''as is always the case when there are problems in neighboring countries. However, our borders are absolutely impermeable to any infiltration attempt. There is no security problem in Tunisia. Everything is under control.''