Dozens of Tunisians gathered in central Tunis on 18 March to pay their respects for the 20 people killed by two militants, including 18 foreign tourists, at a candle-lit vigil outside the Municipal Theatre.

The group carried candles, as well as flags and banners renouncing terrorism.

Mohamed Ayari, a Tunisian at the vigil said the attacks would have an impact on all areas of governance.

"The country's situation can't handle another blow like this, as it will affect the country's institutions at all levels."

The attack on such a high-profile target is a blow for the small North African country that relies heavily on European tourism and has mostly avoided major militant violence since its uprising ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Witnesses said the militants began firing at the tourists as they were disembarking buses, before they fled into the museum to seek refuge only to have the militants follow them inside and take some hostages.

Security forces entered around two hours later, killed two militants and freed the captives, a government spokesman said. A police officer died in the operation.