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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Tunisia: Dozens killed in a terrorist attack at the resort

Armed Forces were deployed to the scene in Tunisian resort after
the deadly attack
(Image: The Novinite News)
A terrible terrorist attack occurred on Friday, 26 June, on the beach of two hotels in a popular Tunisian resort, leaving dozens of people dead.

An attack happened around midday, according to the eyewitnesses, as a man dressed like a tourist who was going to swim entered the beach carrying a beach umbrella with him. It appeared later that a gun was hidden in an umbrella as assailants suddenly opened a random fire at the tourists lounging on the beach.

An attack was carried out in a popular resort place called Port El-Kantaoui, which is located on the outskirts of Sousse, popular tourists’ destination, and is about 140 km from the city of Tunis.


At least 39 people were killed as a result of an attack, according to the spokesperson of Tunisian Ministry of Health, Saeed Al-Abadi. There are mostly foreigners among the dead. Communication Chief of Tunisian Health Ministry Chokri Nafti stated also that 36 people were wounded, some of the in a critical condition.

This terrible attack happened on the same day with a deadly bombing of a Shia mosque inKuwaiti capital, that left at least 27 people killed, and a terrorist attack atthe chemical factory in France, that left one person dead and two wounded.

Shooting was carried out by a gunman who attacked two hotels with the connected beach, stated Interior Ministry spokesperson Mohamed Ali Aroui. An assailant was killed, according to the police, while a special anti-terrorist operation is ongoing in the area. Search operation is also ongoing as police suspects there was another attacker involved in a shooting. Later on Friday two other suspects were arrested by Tunisia police.

Hotel spokesperson stated that most of the tourists killed and wounded in an attack were EU citizens, mostly British. UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond declared that at least fifteen British citizens were among those killed in an attack, and the death toll of UK citizens could rise, as this resort was very popular among the British people. Charles Flanagan, Irish Foreign Minister, also confirmed that there was an Irish woman among the victims of the terrorist attack. German and Belgian citizens were also among the dead. 

Representatives of the touristic companies have reportedly organised emergency flight to evacuate the people.

The gunshots were heard from the far distance, according to the eyewitnesses of an attack. Panic spread on the beach after an attack, as tourists were fleeing the attack.

Tunisian army and security forces were deployed on the scene
after the attack
(Image: Moroccan World Press)
The tourists’ area was sealed by the police and security forces after an attack, while additional military troops were deployed on the scene. Tunisian security forces were put in state of alert, as the special search and anti-terrorist operation is ongoing.

There was no immediate claim for the Friday terrorist attack in Tunisia was made at the beginning, but the police and security forces suspect ISIS, as it claimed responsibility for another deadly attack, carried out thisFriday in Kuwaiti Shia mosque, and as ISIS also marked its first anniversary this year, marking it with the carnage in Syria and Iraq and massacring dozens of people in the city of Kobani.

Later on Friday though ISIS claimed responsibility for Tunisian attack in a statement posted on social networks. Identity of an attacker was also disclosed by ISIS. It was a Tunisia 24 year old student Seifeddine Yacoubi Rezgui, who was nor on any security or intelligence listed and didn't have criminal records. He probably radicalized recently and was recruited by ISIS for carrying out an attack.

French President Francois Holland has expressed his support of Tunisian government in its fight against the jihadist activities and terrorist threats. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi in his turn stated that Tunis cannot confront a jihadist threat alone and asked for an international support and working on a unified global strategy in order to fight terrorism in the region.

EU countries, USA, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Russia and number of other countries have strongly condemned the recent attack in Tunisia and expressed their support of Tunisian government.

This Friday attack was the deadliest in a Tunisian history and followed a March attack ofthe Bardo National Museum in Tunis that left 22 people killed, among them 21 foreigners and one local policeman, and dozens of wounded. ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack.

Tunisia faced numerous jihadist stacks since the Arab Spring, but these attacks targeted primarily police, army and security forces. The recent deadly attacks in Tunis and Sousse, that targeted civilians, particularly foreigners, opened a new grim page in Tunisian history.