Gunmen attack Tunisian parliament, may have taken hostages - local radio

A general view of Tunisia's Constituent Assembly is seen in session in Tunis December 2, 2014. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

TUNIS (Reuters) - Gunmen attacked Tunisia's parliament building on Wednesday, and security forces were surrounding two militants who may have taken hostages in a nearby museum, media and a government official said. Exchanges of gunfire first rang out from the parliament building around midday, TAP state news agency reported, and state television said there had been a number of casualties. The attackers may have taken hostages in the nearby Bardo museum, private station Radio Mosaique reported, though that was not confirmed by authorities. An interior ministry spokesman security forces were surrounding two militants holed up inside the Bardo Museum and still verifying reports that the militants had taken tourists hostage. Tunisia's armed forces are fighting Islamist militants who emerged after the country's 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Several thousand Tunisians have also left the country to fight for militant groups in Syria, Iraq and Libya, and the government is worried about returning jihadis carrying out attacks at home. (Reporting by Tarek Amara; writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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