As revelations that during the Tunisia attacks hotel workers shielded their guests with their own bodies to save victims of the gunmen surface, England observes two minutes of silent in honor of those slain a week ago today.
It was with horror that civilized people all around the world saw the first images of the aftermath of the Tunisia attack last Friday. It was clear by the images that beach goers at the exclusive resort had been taken totally unawares of the intention of the man who opened fire on them while they relaxed in the sand.
The stories of heroism are many, and now we are learning how several of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel workers in Sousse, Tunisia, chased away the attacker, but not before he gunned down 38 people, 30 of whom were British. The resort is a popular vacation destination for Brits, who go there because of the beautiful waters and sandy beaches that help them reload so they can go back about their lives.
However, 38 of those guests never returned home, but many were saved the day of the Tunisia attack thanks to the actions of hotel workers, who found themselves in the midst of the horrors perpetrated by a lone terrorist. Survivors and other tourists have praised these men, including 18-year-old paragliding instructor, Ibrahim al-Ghoul, who despite the difficult situation was one of those that ran towards the massacre while it was still in progress.
“At that point we opened our breasts against the bullets,” Ghoul told the Guardian. “I felt he wouldn’t shoot at so many Arabic people in front of him.”
The Tunisia attack hotel workers were unarmed and used their bodies as shields to protect terrorized guests. The events lasted about 15 minutes during which the suspect, identified as Seifeddine Rezgui, went on a deadly rampage killing westerners.
Photos taken by bystanders along the beach show Rezfui walking away from the Imperial Marhaba hotel heading towards another vacation resort nearby, while the hotel workers stand in a line protecting their guests. Later on, police arrived and shot the attacker, killing him.
Entertainment organizer Yassine Sadkaoui, 25, said that the hotel workers had already come up with a plan to face the Tunisia attacker before police arrived.
“Someone from the Marhaba had shouted over to me: ‘Some people are still alive. Come on!’. At that moment, it was destiny. It didn’t matter if you got killed or not.”
In the photograph taken of the workers, Sadkaoui is seen with his arms open, as if he is trying to shoo the gunman. The plan appeared to work as Rezfui retreated and moved on to the Marina resort.
From what other witnesses said, it seemed he was done with his mission and wanted to be killed. He got his wish when police killed him later on as he tried to leave the scene, but not before another witness threw heavy bricks at him.
Witnesses of the Tunisia attack say the gunman targeted western tourists, asking staff to “get out of the way” while shooting, the Independent reports.
“I am not here to kill you. Turn around and go home,” al-Ghoul said the Tunisia attacker shouted.
[Photo by Jeff Mitchell/Getty Images]