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At least eight dead in Tunisia attack on leading museum

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-03-18 20:58

TUNIS, Tunisia - Gunmen opened fire at a leading museum in Tunisia's capital, killing at least eight people, authorities said. It wasn't immediately clear if the attackers took hostages.

The attack on the National Bardo Museum prompted the evacuation of Tunisia's parliament building, which is adjacent to the museum.

Private radio station Radio Mosaique said that three men dressed in military-style clothing may have taken hostages inside the museum.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui said on Radio Mosaique that one of the dead was a Tunisian. He didn't provide nationalities for the other victims.

The museum is a leading tourist attraction that chronicles Tunisia's history and houses one of the world's largest collections of Roman mosaics.

It is unclear who the attackers are. Tunisia has struggled with violence by Islamic extremists in recent years, including some linked to the Islamic State group.

Tunisia recently completed a rocky road to democracy after overthrowing its authoritarian president in 2011. It has been more stable than other countries in the region, but it has struggled with violence by Islamic extremists in recent years, including some linked to IS. It also has extremists linked to al-Qaida's North Africa arm who occasionally target Tunisian security forces.

A disproportionately large number of Tunisia recruits have joined IS fighters in Syria and Iraq.

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