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1 At Least Eight Britons Killed In Tunisia Attack

Most of the victims of a terrorist attack targeting tourists in Tunisia are British, officials said, as Islamic State claimed responsibility for the massacre.

The Tunisian Health Ministry said eight Britons, one German and one Belgian had been identified among the victims.

The new toll came as David Cameron said the British public needs to be prepared for the fact that “many of those killed”1 in the “savage” shooting were British.

The PM was speaking after chairing a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee.

Earlier, Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid said the UK had suffered most fatalities after a gunman opened fire on holidaymakers sunbathing on a beach, killing at least 38 people.

Mr Essid told a news conference: “The majority are British. After come the Germans, then the Belgians and then other nationalities,” he said, adding that there were also French victims.

Play video “Gunshots Ring Out”

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told Sky News: “Sadly, we believe the majority are British of those who have been killed or injured.

“There are some victims who still have to be identified but the number, I’m sad to say, is going to increase.”

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said at least five Britons had been killed. He also warned that the number was likely to rise.

Irish mother-of-two Lorna Carty, from Robinstown, Co Meath, was also killed.

Family friends said she had taken her husband on holiday to help him recover from heart surgery.

In a statement on social media, Islamic State claimed it was behind the Tunisian attack and released photos they said showed the gunman.

Play video “Tourists Arrive Back From Tunisia”

“Our brother, the soldier of the Caliphate, Abu Yahya al Qayrawani, reached his target the Imperial hotel despite the security measures,” the statement said. It said he had attacked a “bordel” and killed 40 “infidels”.

Rafik Chelli, a senior Interior Ministry official, said the gunman killed was unknown to authorities and not on any watchlist of potential jihadists.

A security source named him as Seifeddine Rezgui, a 23-year-old electrical engineering student.

New video2 captured the confusion in the aftermath of Friday’s attack.

Terrified families ran for their lives3 as the killer, wearing shorts and hiding a Kalashnikov inside an umbrella, started shooting in Port el Kantaoui on the outskirts of Sousse.

Play video “Special Report: IS Recruitment”

He then entered the Imperial Marhaba hotel through the swimming pool area, shooting and throwing an explosive as he went, according to witnesses.

A security source said another bomb was found on his body, which lay with his assault rifle in the street where he was shot. Local radio said police captured a second gunman, but officials did not immediately confirm the arrest or his role in the attack.

In the aftermath of the attack, the dead bodies of tourists lay crumpled on sunbeds on the beach and dozens more were injured.

One clinic in Sousse released the names of 12 Britons receiving treatment there.

Norfolk police said a member of the staff and his wife were injured in the attacks.

The couple required hospital treatment but did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

Play video “People Run As Gunshots Are Heard”

Worried relatives took to social media to appeal for help tracing family members4 who had been staying in the resort.

Among them was Ross Naylor from Derby, who was trying to contact his father Scott Chalkley, on holiday with his partner.

He had been in Tunisia for a few days. “Then the news came out, I start ringing – nothing at all.

It’s just ringing out,” Mr Naylor told Sky News.

Mr Essid said his government plans within a week to close down 80 mosques that remain outside state control for inciting violence, and crack down on financing for certain associations, as a countermeasure.

Meanwhile, thousands of British holidaymakers have been fleeing Tunisian resorts5 since the massacre, and a British Embassy crisis team has been sent in to help tourists caught up in the terror.


  1. Gallery: Tunisia Attack: The Day After

    A boy with a Tunisian flag stands beside bouquets of flowers near the Imperiale Marhabada hotel

A rose lies on the beach as security check the premises


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