Tunisia premier: 19 killed in museum attack, including 17 foreigners

A hostage drama in Tunisia has ended with the two gunmen being shot dead by police.

Tunisian security forces secure the area after gunmen attacked Tunis famed Bardo Museum on 18 March, 2015. At least seven foreigners and a Tunisian were killed in an attack by two men armed with assault rifles on the museum, the interior ministry said. Picture: AFP

TUNIS - A hostage drama in Tunisia has ended with the two gunmen being shot dead by police.

At least 19 people were killed, including 17 foreign tourists, when militants attacked Tunisia's Bardo Museum in the capital Tunis, Prime Minister Habib Essid said on Wednesday.

A Tunisian citizen and a policeman also died in the attack, Essid said.

Reports claim that Isis responsible for the attack by gunmen, who opened fire on tourists getting off buses.

Others were taken hostage inside the building.

Security forces stormed the Bardo Museum in central Tunis a few hours later and killed two militants, freeing all the remaining captives.

Several people were wounded.

The attack on such a high profile target is a huge blow for the small North African country that relies heavily on European tourism and has so far avoided major militant violence since its 2011 uprising to oust autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

Tunisian authorities did not release any details on the nationalities of the hostages. If any foreigners were killed, Wednesday's assault would the worst assault involving them since an Al-Qaeda suicide bombing on a synagogue killed 21 people on the tourist island of Djerba in 2002.