Reports: South African killed in Tunisia shooting

Tunisia’s interior ministry says a South African was killed and others were wounded in the shooting.

Tunisian security forces secured the area after gunmen attacked the famed Bardo Museum on 18 March, 2015 and freed the captives. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - While Tunisia's interior ministry says a South African was among tourists killed in yesterday's terror attack in the capital, there's been no confirmation yet from the Department of International Relations & Cooperation (Dirco).

Tunisian authorities also say South Africans are among those wounded by AK-47 wielding militants.

Dirco's Nelson Kgwete says the government cannot give any confirmation of the reports as yet.

"The South African government has taken note of media reports relating to an attack in Tunisia. We have noted speculations that a South African citizen also lost his life in the attack. But we cannot confirm that at this point."

The attack happened at the Bardo museum in the centre of the capital.

Nineteen people are reported dead, including the two gunmen who stormed the famed museum, taking a group of hostages made up mostly of tourists.

Tunisian authorities haven't named the South African victims of yesterday's attack that left 19 people dead.

The terrorists were themselves killed by security forces, although authorities say two might have fled, police didn't initially know how many gunmen they were dealing with.

Some of the tourists were shot down as they emerged from their buses, others fled into the museum.

Police took several hours to gain control of the facility located next door to the country's Parliament.

Five Japanese as well as visitors from Italy, Poland and Spain were among the dead in the noon assault.

The museum is known for its collection of ancient Tunisian artifacts and mosaics and other treasures from classical Rome and Greece.

There were no immediate reports that the attackers had copied Islamic State militants in Iraq by targeting exhibits seen by hardliners as idolatrous.

Bardo's white-walled halls set in the Parliament compound are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Tunisian capital.

Many tourists come for day trips to Tunis from nearby Mediterranean beach resorts.

Shocked but defiant, hundreds of Tunisians later gathered in the streets of downtown Tunis waving the country's red and white crescent flag, and chanting against terrorism.

"I pass this message to Tunisians, that democracy will win and it will survive," President Beji Caid Essebsi said in a television statement. "We will find more ways and equipment for the army to wipe out these barbarous groups for good."

Meanwhile, people around the world continue to condemn the attack and show their support for those affected.

Strongly condemn killings of innocent people in terrorist attack in the Bardo Museum in Tunisia yesterday #PresidentMukherjee

#condemn the terrorist attack against tourists in Tunisia

#AskHamas pic.twitter.com/10BbL6YlRY

A thought for Tunisia... pic.twitter.com/n6y9HzvFN4

My deepest heartfelt condolences to those killed in the #Tunisia museum attack.

PM Abbott: "Plainly, this is a terrorist outrage. Plainly, it is an attack by Islamist extremists on a fledgling democracy." #Tunisia

Prayers go out to the families of the 21 people shot in the Tunisia Museum Attack today.

Additional reporting by Reuters