Tunisian soldiers
Tunisian soldiers on active service Reuters

A Tunisian soldier opened fire on his colleagues at a military base in the capital Tunis this morning, according to Reuters news agency. He killed three people and wounded 15 others before he was shot dead. So far it is unclear what prompted the shooting at the Bouchoucha military base.

So far it is unclear what prompted the shooting at the Bouchoucha military base.

The shooting alarmed Tunis, because it follows the attack in March by Islamic State terrorists on the Bardo national museum. During the museum attack, two gunmen killed 21 foreigners. It was the worst terrorist incident in Tunisia for more than a decade.

After this morning's shooting began a local school had to be evacuated and army helicopters circled the scene. The military base is not far from the Bardo area of Tunis.

A Tunisian government spokesman, Belhassen Oueslati, has refused to speculate on the gunman's motives. Early reports of the atrocity stated that a colonel was one of the three fatalities.

Oueslati stated that the armed forces "took control of the situation after firing on the soldier". He said that the soldier had been forbidden from carrying weapons himself and had seized another man's gun to carry out the attack.

It is believed that shots were fired only inside the barracks. The incident is not being treated as a terrorist attack. The injured soldiers have been taken to a hospital.

Since an uprising against its autocratic ruler Zine El-Abidine Ben Aliin in 2011, Tunisian groups linked to the Islamic State and al-Quaida have carried out sporadic terrorist acts.