Footage has emerged of people fleeing a beachfront hotel in the Ivory Coast after gunmen opened fire.

At least 12 people are reportedly dead - including four Europeans - after four men armed with Kalashnikovs began shooting outside two hotels in a resort in Grand-Bassam.

A statement released by the Ivorian government on their Facebook page - which was then deleted - said 11 people, including a small child, were injured. 

Local media reports they began firing at the hotel Koral Beach before moving into the Hotel Etoile du Sud taking guests and staff hostage.

The resort is believed to be particularly popular with Europeans and several foreigners are reportedly among the casualties.

An American embassy delegation was in Grand-Bassam on Sunday but the US Embassy in Abidjan said it is monitoring the situation in Grand-Bassam and it has no evidence that U.S. citizens were targeted nor confirmed reports of any U.S citizens harmed. 

One witness told France24 they had the gunmen shouting "Allahu Akbar" as they began shooting. 

Dramane Kima. said he ran away from the beach when the attack began.

He said: "I saw seven dead that I filmed. There were four attackers. I was swimming when it started and I ran away".

Weapons were including hand grenades and magazines we also recovered at the scene.

Josiane Sekongo, 25, said shots rang out on Sunday afternoon in Grand-Bassam, a popular weekend destination for Ivorians and foreigners.

Ms Sekongo, who lives across from one of the town's many beachfront hotels, said she ran outside when she heard gunshots and saw people running away from the beach.

She said residents were hiding in their homes as security forces responded.

The army have moved in to evacuate the beach but it is unclear whether the attackers have been detained or killed.

The historic town of Grand-Bassam is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Additional reporting by AP and Reuters

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