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Terrorists kill foreign tourists and local in Tunisia attack: what we know

Tunisian security forces secure the area after gunmen attacked Tunis' famed Bardo Museum.
Tunisian security forces secure the area after gunmen attacked Tunis' famed Bardo Museum.
FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images
  1. Militants launched a deadly terror attack in the Tunisian capital of Tunis, reportedly storming both the national parliament and the nearby Bardo National Museum, according to the Tunisian government and multiple reports. The militants then held a number of tourists hostage at the museum.
  2. The attacks killed two Tunisians and 17 foreign tourists, according to the Tunisian government. The murdered tourists were Polish, Italian, German, and Spanish.
  3. The attack appears to be over; reports say that one Tunisian policeman and two militants were killed in retaking the museum.

Who launched the terror attack in Tunisia?

The attackers' identities and motive are unknown. Tunisia has struggled with low-level violence since the 2011 revolution that ousted dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, though it has fared much better than other Arab Spring nations and has been largely stable.

Early suspicions are naturally falling on jihadist extremists, perhaps Tunisians who had fought abroad. A number of Tunisians have left in recent years to join jihadist groups fighting in war-torn Iraq and Syria, as well as in neighboring Libya. Tunisians and outside analysts have long worried that some of those fighters might return to cause trouble at home. At the same time, some are pointing to the growing chaos in Libya, Tunisia's neighbor, where extremist groups have become increasingly powerful.