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Dozens Killed in Tunisian Hotel Terror Attack


Bodies are covered on a Tunisian beach, in Sousse, June 26, 2015.

Tunisian officials say a terrorist attack near a hotel on the Mediterranean coast has left 37 people dead, including British, German and Belgian nationals.

Interior Ministry officials say gunmen opened fire Friday on people on a beach near the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the Tunisian city of Sousse, a popular destination for visitors from Europe and other North African countries.

Officials say security forces responded to the attack, and that at least one gunman is among the dead. Thirty-six people were wounded.

"He [the gunman] entered premises and started shooting randomly at tourists and hotel workers and whoever was at the premises. We have surrounded the area and are searching people," Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said.

Another gunman fled from the scene and is still on the run.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Tunisia attack, but the Islamic State group, which marks the first anniversary of its "caliphate" straddling Iraq and Syria Monday, said it was behind a bombing Friday that killed dozens at a Shi'ite mosque in Kuwait City.

That incident came as a terrorist attack unfolded in France on Friday, killing one at a U.S. air products plant.

US condemns attacks

The White House condemned Friday's terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France "in the strongest terms."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these heinous attacks, their loved ones, and the people of all three countries," a statement by President Barack Obama's press secretary said.

"As the President has discussed with his French, Kuwaiti, and Tunisian counterparts in recent weeks, we are resolute and united in our shared effort to fight the scourge of terrorism," the statement continued.

"We stand with these nations as they respond to attacks on their soil today, and we have been in contact with appropriate counterparts in all three countries to offer any necessary support," the White House said.

"Terrorism has no place in any society, and the United States will continue to work closely with our international partners to combat terrorist actors and counter violent extremism around the globe," it said.

In this screen grab taken from video provided by Tunisia TV1, injured people are treated on a Tunisian beach at the resort town of Sousse, June 26, 2015.
In this screen grab taken from video provided by Tunisia TV1, injured people are treated on a Tunisian beach at the resort town of Sousse, June 26, 2015.

EU expresses solidarity with Tunisian, French people

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi expressed solidarity with the Tunisian and French people following the terrorist attacks in both countries on Friday.

"Our hearts go out to the victims of these appalling terrorist attacks," Cameron said. "I spoke to [French] President [Francois] Hollande at the European Council and offered my sympathy and our solidarity with the French people at this time. I hope to speak later with the Tunisian government and again offer our sympathies and condolences and our solidarity in fighting this evil of terrorism."

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker expressed condolences to the victims of Friday's terror attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.

Tunisia has been on high alert since March, when Islamist militant gunmen attacked the Bardo museum in Tunis, killing a group of foreign tourists in one of the worst terrorist attacks in many years in Tunisia.

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.