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'17 tourists shot dead' in Tunisia

Seventeen tourists are reported to have died after an attack in a Tunisian museum.

The Tunisian prime minister announced that the victims were Polish, Spanish, German, Italian and Tunisian, according to the BBC.

British tour operators confirmed that thousands of customers are believed to be in the country, but "very few" are in the capital.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are urgently looking into the serious situation in Tunisia."

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) said: "We are currently liaising with our members and the Foreign Office to assess the impact and understand if any British nationals have been caught up in the attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis.

"Tunisia attracts over 400,000 UK visitors each year, with the vast majority travelling to resorts on the coast.

"Abta members have reported that they have currently approximately 6,500 customers in Tunisia, though very few of these are staying in Tunis. As a precaution many Abta tour operators have cancelled local excursions to Tunis due to depart over the next few days."

The National Bardo Museum is near the national parliament building, which was evacuated after the shooting.

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

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are urgently looking in to the serious events in Tunisia and are working with the Tunisian authorities as well as with contacts in the tourist industry to establish if any British nationals have been affected.

"Our travel advice is that we are urging people to exercise caution and follow the instructions of the local authorities."

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