Dozens Dead in Terrorist Attacks on Tunisian Hotels

Tunisian officials said at least 37 people, including many foreigners, have been killed in a terrorist attack Friday near a hotel along the Mediterranean coast.

Interior Ministry officials said gunmen opened fire 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.

The health ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency TAP that at least 36 people were wounded.

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.

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 Tunisia, officials said security forces responded to the beach attack and that at least one gunman is among the dead.

«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 searching people,» Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said.

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

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.

The Health Ministry said the dead include Tunisians, Brits, Germans and Belgians.

The White House condemned «heinous attacks» on Friday in France, Kuwait and Tunisia, expressing solidarity and vowing to «fight the scourge of terrorism.»

«Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these heinous attacks, their loved ones, and the people of all three countries,» a statement said.

RIU Hotels & Resorts, the Spanish company that owns the Imperial Marhaba hotel offered its condolences to the victims and their families.

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