United Kingdom

UK Warns Of More Possible Attacks In Tunisia

 

 

The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to UK citizens to warn that further terrorist attacks in Tunisia are possible following the beach resort massacre in Sousse, which left at least 38 people dead.

The update was made last night, just hours after Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said that his office would review its current advice.

The advice on its website now reads: “Further terrorist attacks in Tunisia, including in tourist resorts, are possible, including by individuals who are unknown to the authorities and whose actions are inspired by terrorist groups via social media.

“You should be especially vigilant at this time and follow the advice of Tunisian security authorities and your tour operator.”

At least 38 people died after gunman Seifeddine Yacoubi opened fire in Port el Kantaoui on the outskirts of Sousse two days ago.

The British death toll has risen to 15.

Up to 2,500 more people could return to the UK from Tunisia today, as part of holiday firms’ efforts to get those on holiday at the beach resort home as soon as possible.

On Saturday, Thomson and First Choice said it had already expatriated 1,000 of its customers after a gunman opened fire on a beach, but added that there were still 5,400 remaining.

Tui Group, which runs the companies, was unable to confirm how many of the 39 people killed or injured in the shooting were its customers, but said there had been a “number of fatalities”.

An additional 11 Thomson flights as well as one third-party flight with Nouvelle Air are currently due to leave today.

The Association of British Travel Agents, known as Abta, estimates there are approximately 20,000 customers currently on holiday with Abta members in Tunisia.

But it said there will also be a number of holidaymakers who have travelled independently.

Holidaymakers elsewhere in the country were advised to contact their tour operator and follow any instructions issued by local authorities.

While many tourists have left, a scattering of foreign tourists are still reportedly at the resort.

Welsh couple Angela Chambers and Peter Phillips told the Associated Press they declined their tour operator’s offer to take them to the airport last night.

“I think we feel safer here than last night going to the airport,” said Ms Chambers.

Mr Phillips added that “we want to see our holiday out”.

In Sousse last night, people gathered for a protest against terrorism.

Crowds gathered after dark with some holding candles while others carried flags including those of the United Kingdom and Tunisia.

Some people held posters aloft proclaiming “Peace” and “Sousse will never die”.

Anxious relatives are still waiting for news of missing family members.

One man is searching for information about his father and stepmother, John and Janet, as their mobile phone has been left unanswered since the attack.

Speaking to Sky News, Mark Stocker said: “We’ve spoken to every hospital in Sousse and surrounding areas.

“One of my brothers managed to speak to someone in the hotel – they’ve gone and checked their room but their stuff is still in there.

“It’s just trying to work out what we do. The Foreign Office can’t give us any information yet – that’s the worrying thing.”

Mr Stocker said social media had been a lifeline for his family as they try to locate the couple, with #FindJohnStocker trending on Twitter, and Tunisian locals offering the phone numbers of hotels and hospitals.

He added that his parents were due back in the UK this weekend, and had flown to the resort last Sunday.

“They’ve been to Tunisia before, that’s why they went back this year. They chose a different hotel because they loved it there,” Mr Stocker explained.

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