20231217 tunisia
The massive city walls were under renovation when the accident took place. Image Credit: AFP

Kairouan, Tunisia: A section of the historic walls around the Old City of Kairouan collapsed on Saturday, killing three masons carrying out repairs on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tunisian authorities said.

Two workers were also injured in the accident, which saw a 30 metre (100 foot) long section of the six metre (20 foot) high walls near the Gate of the Floggers crash to the ground, the Civil Protection department said.

20231217 Tunisia wall
People and Civil Protection members gather at the site of a collapsed section of the ancient wall surrounding historic Kairouan in central Tunisia. Image Credit: AFP

"A team was carrying out restoration work" on the three kilometre (two mile) long wall that surrounds the Old City, department spokesman Moez Tria told AFP, adding that the accident "could be linked to heavy rains in the area in recent days".

Founded in 670 AD, Kairouan is one of North Africa's holiest cities and a leading tourist attraction. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.