A gunman raided a beach hotel in Sousse on Friday, killing dozens
"All 30 British victims have been positively identified," UK foreign secretary says
Thirty of the people killed in the Tunisia beach massacre last week are UK citizens, authorities said Thursday, marking the worst terror attacks against Britons in a decade.
A gunman raided a beach hotel in Sousse on Friday, killing 38 people.
“All 30 British victims have been positively identified. We can say with a high degree of confidence that that is now the final death toll of British nationals killed in this incident,” UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said.
“We’re repatriating the bodies of another nine who will return to the UK today. There will be two further repatriation flights tomorrow and Saturday,” Hammond said.
Tunisian authorities have stepped up security as they investigate whether the gunman they say was responsible for the attack, Saif Al-Deen Al Rezgui, had accomplices in Friday’s deadly shooting at a beach hotel in Sousse.
Seven Tunisians have been arrested, Tunisian court spokesman Sofiene Selliti told CNN.
Selliti said that “very important information was found on the terrorist’s phone,” which was recovered from the sea near the beach where the attack was carried out.
Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry said that 34 bodies have been identified – 26 Britons, one Belgian, two Germans, one Russian, three Irish citizens and one Portuguese citizen.
The gun rampage is the most significant attack against British citizens since the London transport bombings 10 years ago.
The possibility of a link to another Tunisian terrorist attack emerged Tuesday.
Al Rezgui, 24, trained with the people who carried out the attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March, Rafik Chelli, Tunisia’s secretary of state for national security, told CNN.
In an online audio statement, ISIS – which has said it’s behind the beach resort attack – claimed responsibility for the Bardo Museum attack and identified two men, Abu Zakariya al-Tunisi and Abu Anas al-Tunisi, as having carried it out. CNN could not independently verify the legitimacy of the audio claim.
Police shot Al Rezgui dead near the scene of Friday’s attack. Authorities said he carried out the attack alone.
Another suspect being sought in the Sousse and the Bardo Museum attacks is Shams Eddin Sindy, according to the Interior Ministry’s webpage.
Britain will mark a week from the date of the attack Friday with a minute’s remembrance at noon across the UK and at British embassies worldwide.
They are receiving no psychological or financial support, he said, “and many of them have been told not to come in to work because there are barely any guests left in the hotel.”
CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh, Ruth Hetherington, Hazel Pfeifer, Houda Zaghdoudi, Andrew Carey and Khushbu Shah and journalist Safa Ben Said in Sousse contributed to this report.