The majority of the dead in Friday’s terrorist attack in Tunisia were British, according to the Tunisian prime minister, Habib Essid, Sky News reports. Essid made the statement while speaking at a press conference.
“The majority are British. After come the Germans, then the Belgians and then other nationalities.”
The attack took place at the Imperial Marhaba hotel, in the town of Sousse on the eastern coast of Tunisia, killing 39 people. Of those 39, it has been confirmed by the British Foreign Office that 15 are so far known to be British, with a Foreign Minister, Tobias Ellwood saying earlier today that the number could still rise, the Telegraph reports.
“Sadly, I can confirm that at least 15 British nationals were killed in yesterday’s atrocity but I should stress that the number may well rise as several more have been seriously injured in this horrific attack.” He went on to call the attack the most significant since the 2005 London bombings.
“This is the most significant terrorist attack on British people since 7/7 and highlights the ongoing threat of Isil.”
The attacker was named as Seifeddine Yacoubi, a young Tunisian, with ISIS claiming the attacker as one of their own, and naming the young man as Abu Yahya al-Qayrawani. The attack started on the beach, with the gunman opening fire on tourists before moving into the hotel. He was later shot by police on the streets of Sousse.
Sky News have obtained an image of the attacker walking calmly along the beach, brazenly carrying an assault rifle. The image is thought to have been taken just before the start of the attack.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 27, 2015
As a result of the Tunisian attack, holidaymakers have been flooding home, with the Guardian reporting that thousands of tourists have already been brought back from Tunisia.
The British Foreign Office are now advising tourists in the region to “keep in touch with your tour operator and follow any advice from Tunisian security authorities.” Tourists are also being told to keep vigilant, and to be aware that more attacks could occur.
The area is still being listed as relatively safe, however, with only the south and west of Tunisia bearing advice to either avoid all travel or avoid all but essential travel, with particular warning being given for regions on the Algerian and Libyan borders.
Among those named as having thought to have died in the hotel massacre are 24-year-old beauty blogger Carly Lovett, 19-year-old Joel Richards, and his uncle Adrian Evans. Two other reported British victims have also been named as Bruce Wilkinson and Lisa Burbidge, the Daily Mirror reports.
A Lincoln University lecturer, who taught Lovett across her three-year course at the university, told the Liverpool Echo of her shock upon hearing the news.
My supervisor sent me a text and told me what had happened. I was just completely shocked at the loss of such a vibrant young woman.
Victims from other countries include an Irish woman, named as Lorna Carty, and an unnamed German citizen.
The Irish Examiner reports that Carty and her husband Declan had gone to Tunisia for a break, after he had surgery.
If you are British and currently in Tunisia following the attack, or are concerned for someone who is, you can find details of what to do here.
[Lead image by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images, map image via Foreign Office, Carly Lovett image via Instagram]