Tunisian state TV reports that 19 people have been killed after two gunmen opened fire on a beach near two hotels in the coastal resort city of Sousse.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said security forces intervened immediately Friday and killed one of the attackers, while the other fled the scene.

Sousse, some 150 kilometers from Tunis, is a popular resort for both Tunisians and Europeans.

There have been no details on the nationalities of those killed but during the holy month of Ramadan, those on the beach tend to be tourists.

Tunisia has been battered by attacks my militants, most recently in March when two Tunisians returning from Libya killed 22 people at the national museum.