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Friday, June 26, 2015

Gunman kills 39 at Tunisian beachside hotel, Islamic State claims attack

IS claims Tunisia seaside massacre . AFP By Kaouther Larbi with Ines Bel Aiba in Tunis Tunisian medics stand next to covered bodies in the resort town of Sousse, a popular tourist destination, following a mass shooting on June 26, 2015 Port el Kantaoui (Tunisia) (AFP) - The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a massacre in a Tunisian seaside resort that killed nearly 40 people, most of them British tourists, in the worst attack in the country's recent history. 1. Tunisia beach resort massacre kills 39 AFP 2. Most of the dead in Tunisia attack were British: Tunisian PM AFP 3. Dozens killed in attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France Associated Press 4. The Latest: At least 5 Britons killed in Tunisia attack Associated Press 5. Gunman kills 39 at Tunisian beachside hotel, Islamic State claims attack Reuters Dozens more were wounded when a man pulled a gun from inside a beach umbrella and opened fire on crowds of tourists at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel in the popular Mediterranean resort of Port el Kantaoui. Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid said 38 people had been killed, revising down an earlier toll of 39 given by the health ministry. An official there told AFP the original figure had included the dead gunman. Most of those killed were from Britain -- implying this could be the biggest loss of British life in a militant attack since the July 2005 bombings in London when 52 died -- while Germans, Belgians, French were also among the dead, the premier said. Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said earlier five Britons had been killed and he expected the toll to rise, while his Irish counterpart confirmed an Irish woman was among the dead. The attack, the second against tourists in Tunisia this year, comes on the same day that 27 people were killed at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and a suspected Islamist attacked a factory in France. A Tunisian soldier guards in front of the Imperial Hotel in the resort town of Sousse, a popular tou … IS claimed both the bombing and the attack in Tunisia, which came at the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and just days before the first anniversary of the group declaring its territory in Iraq and Syria a "caliphate". IS said the gunman, who they identified as Abu Yahya al-Qayrawani, was a "solider of the caliphate" who had targeted enemies of the jihadist group and "dens (of...) fornication, vice and apostasy". Most of those killed were "subjects of states that make up the crusader alliance fighting the state of the caliphate", the group said in a statement released on Twitter, referring to the group of countries that have been bombarding its positions in the Middle East. The attack, along with the killings in France and Kuwait, sparked a chorus of international condemnation with the White House vowing to "fight the scourge of terrorism" and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saying those responsible for the "appalling" attacks "must be swiftly brought to justice". Tunisian Secretary of State for Security Rafik Chelly told Mosaique FM the gunman was a Tunisian student previously unknown to the authorities. Tunisian Assembly President Mohamed Ennaceur (2nd R) visits a Belgian survivor of the mass shooting … "He entered by the beach, dressed like someone who was going to swim, and he had a beach umbrella with his gun in it. Then when he came to the beach he used his weapon," Chelly said. - 'I saw someone get shot' - Witnesses described scenes of panic after the shooting at the hotel on the outskirts of Sousse, about 140 kilometres (90 miles) south of the capital Tunis. "All I saw was a gun and an umbrella being dropped," British tourist Ellie Makin told ITV television. "Then he started firing to the right-hand side of us. If he had fired to the left I don't know what would have happened, but we were very lucky." Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid speaks at a press conference in Tunis, on June 26, 2015, after t … The shooting was the worst in modern-day Tunisia and followed a March attack claimed by IS on Tunis's Bardo National Museum that killed 21 foreign tourists and a policeman. British tourist Gary Pine told Britain's Sky News television Friday's attack happened when the beach was packed. He counted 20-30 shots. "My son was in the sea at the time and of course my wife and myself were shouting for him to get out the sea quick and as we ran up the beach he said: 'I just saw someone get shot'." Briton Olivia Leathley, 24, heard "loud bangs" and when she went to the lobby to find out what was happening, she saw a woman whose husband had "been shot in the stomach in front of her". "All she said was that he'd been shot and that he was there bleeding on the beach and he was just saying, 'I love you, I love you', and then his eyes rolled back into his head." Tourists comfort each other after a mass shooting attack in the resort town of Sousse, a popular tou … Another woman described how her fiance was shot three times while trying to protect her and was in intensive care in hospital. "I owe him my life because he threw himself in front of me when the shooting started," 26-year-old holidaymaker Saera Wilson told the BBC. By the early hours of Saturday morning, hundreds of tourists were arriving at Enfidha airport in a mad scramble to leave the country, according to an AFP journalist on the scene. - New security measures - Essid on Saturday announced new anti-terrorism measures, including the deployment of reserve troops to reinforce security at "sensitive sites... and places that could be targets of terrorist attacks". The "exceptional plan to better secure tourist and archaeological sites" will include "deploying armed tourist security officers all along the coast and inside hotels from 1 July," he added. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi told AFP that his country cannot stand up to the jihadist threat alone, and urged a unified global strategy. In Cairo, leading Sunni Muslim institution Al-Azhar called the "heinous" shooting a "violation of all religious and humanitarian norms". Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring, has seen a surge in radical Islam since veteran president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in the 2011 revolution. Dozens of members of the security forces have been killed in jihadist attacks since then. In October 2013, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a botched attack on a Sousse beach while security forces foiled another planned attack nearby. Even before the latest attack, Tunisia's tourism industry had been bracing for a heavy blow from the Bardo shooting, but was determined to attract tourists with new security measures and advertising. Tourism accounts for seven percent of Tunisia's GDP and almost 400,000 direct and indirect jobs. --------------- Gunman kills 39 at Tunisian beachside hotel, Islamic State claims attack Fri, Jun 26 21:19 PM EDT image 1 of 8 By Tarek Amara SOUSSE, Tunisia (Reuters) - A gunman disguised as a tourist opened fire at a Tunisian hotel on Friday with a rifle he had hidden in an umbrella, killing 39 people including Britons, Germans and Belgians as they lounged at the beach in an attack claimed by Islamic State. Terrified tourists ran for cover after the gunfire and an explosion erupted at the Imperial Marhaba in Sousse, 140 km (90 miles) south of the capital Tunis, before police shot the gunman dead, witnesses and security officials said. The bodies of several tourists lay crumbled where they fell in the sand, covered with yellow towels and blankets among the plastic white sunbeds. Blood smeared stone steps leading from the hotel main area. "This was always a safe place but today was horror," said an Irish tourist who gave only his first name, Anthony. "He started on the beach and went to the lobby, killing in cold blood." The attack took place during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, on a day in which a decapitated body daubed with Arabic writing was found in France, a suicide bomber killed two dozen people at a mosque in Kuwait and at least 145 civilians were reported killed by Islamic State militants in northern Syria. In a statement on social media, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Tunisian attack. It had urged its followers to step up assaults during Ramadan. Twitter accounts that support Islamic State released three photos they said showed the gunman. A man is seen from behind walking down a street and holding an assault rifle, though his identity and the location are unclear. "Our brother, the soldier of the Caliphate, Abu Yihya al-Kairouni, reached his target the Imperial hotel despite the security measures," the statement said. It said he had attacked a "bordel" and killed 40 "infidels'. After pulling out a weapon hidden inside an umbrella, the assailant strolled through the hotel grounds, opening fire left and right at the pool and beach, reloading his weapon several times and tossing an explosive, witnesses said. A security source said another bomb was found on his body, which lay with a Kalashnikov assault rifle where he was shot. Prime Minister Habib Essid said his government plans within a week to close down 80 mosques that remain outside state control, for inciting violence, and crack down on financing for certain associations, as a countermeasure. Rafik Chelli, a senior interior ministry official, said the gunman killed was unknown to authorities and not on any watchlist of potential jihadists. A security source named him as Saifeddine Rezgui, a 23-year-old electrical engineering student. Local radio said police captured a second gunman, but officials did not immediately confirm the arrest or his role in the attack. "It was just one attacker," said a hotel worker at the site. "He was a young guy dressed in shorts like he was a tourist himself." "RUN, RUN, RUN!" It was the worst attack in Tunisia's modern history and the second major massacre this year following the Islamist militant assault on Tunis Bardo museum when gunmen killed 21 foreign visitors. A health ministry statement said British, German and Belgian nationals were among the 39 dead. The health minister told French radio 36 others were wounded in the shooting. At least five British citizens were among the dead, Britain's Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said. Ireland's foreign ministry said at least one Irish citizen was killed. Tunisia, which has been hailed as a model of democratic transition since its 2011 'Arab Spring' uprising, is one of the most secular countries in the Arab world. Its beach resorts and nightclubs on the Mediterranean are popular with foreigners. Islamist jihadists have attacked North African tourist sites before, seeing them as legitimate targets because of their open Western lifestyles and tolerance of alcohol. Irishwoman Elizabeth O'Brien, who was staying at a neighboring hotel with her two sons, said there was panic on the beach when gunfire erupted. "I honestly thought it was fireworks and then when I saw people running... I thought, my God, it is shooting," she told Irish radio station RTE. "The waiters and the security on the beach started to say 'Run, run, run!'" CATASTROPHE Islamic State made some claim to the Bardo museum attack, but authorities blamed possible splinter fighters from the Okba Ibn Nafaa, a brigade of al Qaeda-affiliated fighters, operating in the Chaambi mountains along the Algerian border. In Sousse, many tourists were already packing their suitcases into busses and checking out of hotels to leave after the attack. German tour operator TUI said on Friday it was organizing flights for tourists wishing to return from Tunisia and said those who booked Tunisian holidays for this summer could rebook or cancel the trips free of charge. Sousse, alongside nearby Hammamet and the island of Djerba, is the heartland of Tunisia's most popular beach resorts, drawing visitors from Europe and neighboring North African countries like Algeria. Six million tourists, mostly Europeans, visited Tunisia's beaches, desert treks and medina souks last year, providing seven percent of its gross domestic product, most of its foreign currency revenues and more jobs than anything but farming. "This is a catastrophe for the economy," Tourism Minister Salma Loumi said. "Our losses will be great, but the loss of human life was even greater." Since its 2011 uprising to oust autocrat Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has been praised for its peaceful democratic transition bringing free elections and a new constitution seen as a model for the region. But the country has also struggled with the rise of Islamist movements as ultra-conservative preachers took advantage of the upheaval and young democracy to take over mosques and spread their hardline message. Several thousand Tunisian jihadists have left the country to fight in Syria, Iraq and neighboring Libya, where some have set up jihadist training camps and promised to return to attack their homeland. (Reporting by Tarek Amara; writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Philippa Fletcher, Andrew Heavens, Toni Reinhold) ============= Chilling new details of Tunisia beach massacre: Killer joked as he selected his sunbathing victims before opening fire with an AK47, killing 37 - including five Britons - and seriously wounding 36 Gunmen have carried out a terrorist attack at holiday destination of Sousse One of the assailants was shot dead by police while another was arrested A British man injured in the onslaught used his body to save his fiancee An English teenager survived but saw his parents and grandmother killed Are you in Sousse? Email news@mailonline.co.uk or ring 00442036153475 By Christian Gysin and Arthur Martin for the Daily Mail Published: 21:45 EST, 26 June 2015 | Updated: 13:07 EST, 27 June 2015 26k shares 3.9k View comments Laughing and joking among the midday bathers and sunseekers, he looked like any other tourist. In fact Seifeddine Yacoubi was carefully selecting the victims he would murder with the Kalashnikov hidden in his parasol. The British were his prime targets on the crowded Tunisian beachfront at El Kantaoui near Sousse. But Germans, Belgians and Tunisians were also among his 37 victims – with 36 seriously wounded. 'He was laughing and joking around, like a normal guy,' said one witness. 'He was choosing who to shoot. Some people, he was saying to them 'you go away'. He was choosing tourists, British, French.' Scroll down for videos Terrorist: New images show the final moments of a gunman (pictured) who caused havoc by opening fire on a beach packed with holidaymakers in Tunisia today, before police shot him dead +37 Terrorist: New images show the final moments of a gunman (pictured) who caused havoc by opening fire on a beach packed with holidaymakers in Tunisia today, before police shot him dead Predator: Assault rifle in hand, he roams the streets of the popular holiday resort town Sousse where he and possible accomplices killed at least 37 people today +37 Predator: Assault rifle in hand, he roams the streets of the popular holiday resort town Sousse where he and possible accomplices killed at least 37 people today Killer: Witnesses in Sousse said the terrorists used a jet ski and a boat to access the beach and hid their machine guns in parasols before indiscriminately opening fire on civilians +37 Killer: Witnesses in Sousse said the terrorists used a jet ski and a boat to access the beach and hid their machine guns in parasols before indiscriminately opening fire on civilians Response: The corpse of the gunman, who is believed to be a 23-year-old Seifeddine Yacoubi, was later pictured on the side of the road +37 Response: The corpse of the gunman, who is believed to be a 23-year-old Seifeddine Yacoubi, was later pictured on the side of the road An officer speaks on his phone as he walks past the dead body of one of the gunmen on the ground +37 An officer speaks on his phone as he walks past the dead body of one of the gunmen on the ground Shot: Emergency workers tend to one of the 36 people to be injured when a gunman who is believed to be called Seifeddine Yacoubi +37 Shot: Emergency workers tend to one of the 36 people to be injured when a gunman who is believed to be called Seifeddine Yacoubi Bodies lie on a beach in Sousse after gunmen opened fire on tourists at two hotels, killing at least 37 +37 Bodies lie on a beach in Sousse after gunmen opened fire on tourists at two hotels, killing at least 37 Massacre: At least 37 people were killed on the beach when gunmen opened fire on innocent sunbathers +37 Massacre: At least 37 people were killed on the beach when gunmen opened fire on innocent sunbathers Killed: A 16-year-old British boy saw his grandmother and parents gunned down by the men who killed 37 (one pictured) +37 Killed: A 16-year-old British boy saw his grandmother and parents gunned down by the men who killed 37 (one pictured) Deceased: Tunisian lifeguards stand next to a covered body in the resort town of Sousse, which has been brought to its knees following a merciless terrorist attack +37 Deceased: Tunisian lifeguards stand next to a covered body in the resort town of Sousse, which has been brought to its knees following a merciless terrorist attack Slaughtered: One of the 37 people killed in the attack on the Tunisian beach lies underneath the towel as horrified onlookers surround the scene +37 Slaughtered: One of the 37 people killed in the attack on the Tunisian beach lies underneath the towel as horrified onlookers surround the scene Bloodied: The blood-stained Sudoku book and sandals of one of the people who was on the ill-fated beach when the gunmen arrived on jet skis +37 Bloodied: The blood-stained Sudoku book and sandals of one of the people who was on the ill-fated beach when the gunmen arrived on jet skis It has been reported that the attack happened on the private beach of the Royal Kenz Hotel, which is situated 400 metres away +37 It has been reported that the attack happened on the private beach of the Royal Kenz Hotel, which is situated 400 metres away Onslaught: One of the survivors of the massacre on a beach in Tunisia sits inside the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a window was smashed by gunfire +37 Onslaught: One of the survivors of the massacre on a beach in Tunisia sits inside the Imperial Marhaba Hotel, where a window was smashed by gunfire Attack: A broken glass window of the Imperial Marhaba hotel is seen after a gunman opened fire at the beachside hotel in Sousse +37 Attack: A broken glass window of the Imperial Marhaba hotel is seen after a gunman opened fire at the beachside hotel in Sousse RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Man decapitated as severed head is 'covered in Arabic... Doctor describes terrifying moment he helped fight off... Share this article Share Many tourists barricaded themselves in their rooms after the 23-year-old student opened fire. Olivia Leathley, 24, a chef from Chorlton, Manchester, said she and her boyfriend escaped the massacre at the Imperial Marhaba hotel only because she was charging her phone. 'We then heard a shot from inside the hotel. Somebody just shouted 'run' so we sprinted off in all directions,' she said. 'The machine gun fire was so close, it sounded like it was right behind us. 'I was then on the phone to my dad, screaming at the top of my lungs and telling him 'I love you, I love you'. 'My dad Glenn was saying 'I love you' and shouting prayers down the phone, begging 'Lord, protect them'. We eventually found an office building and hid in a room. As soon as I got somewhere safe, I threw up. 'I later came across a woman who said her husband had been shot in the stomach on the beach. He was bleeding heavily, but she had to leave him there.' Gunman shot dead by security services in Tunisia Emotions running high: A woman launches a furious attack on a man apparently arrested over the shootings +37 Emotions running high: A woman launches a furious attack on a man apparently arrested over the shootings The suspect gunman was attacked after reportedly being captured by the entrance to the Sousse motorway +37 The suspect gunman was attacked after reportedly being captured by the entrance to the Sousse motorway Tunisian security forces escort a man through the streets of Sousse as he is attacked by a woman +37 Tunisian security forces escort a man through the streets of Sousse as he is attacked by a woman The terrorist attack happened in the popular holiday destination of Sousse in the north of Tunisia +37 The terrorist attack happened in the popular holiday destination of Sousse in the north of Tunisia Grateful to be alive: Tourists console each other following a shooting attack in the resort town of Sousse +37 Grateful to be alive: Tourists console each other following a shooting attack in the resort town of Sousse Departure: Survivors seen inside the bus after gunmen stormed a popular tourist resort in Tunisia +37 Departure: Survivors seen inside the bus after gunmen stormed a popular tourist resort in Tunisia Alive: Survivors of the fatal beach attack retreat to the safety of the Imperial hotel in Sousse +37 Alive: Survivors of the fatal beach attack retreat to the safety of the Imperial hotel in Sousse Scared: Hand in hand, holidaymakers flee from the beach in Sousse where dozens were massacred today +37 Scared: Hand in hand, holidaymakers flee from the beach in Sousse where dozens were massacred today In the dark: Holiday makers who survived the attack wait patiently at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel for news +37 In the dark: Holiday makers who survived the attack wait patiently at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel for news A hotel worker said a shoeless Yacoubi, who arrived on the beach by inflatable boat, had tried to blend in with the crowd. He added: 'He opened fire with a Kalashnikov. He was a young guy dressed in shorts – like he was a tourist himself.' Rafik Chelli, Tunisia's secretary of state for national security, said the gunman – named locally as Yacoubi – entered the Marhaba complex through the pool area. 'He entered by the beach, dressed like someone who was going to swim, and he had a beach umbrella with his gun in it. Then when he came to the beach he used his weapon,' Mr Chelli said. Yacoubi was shot dead by the security forces. Because of the Ramadan religious period, there were few Tunisians on the beach and few children because most schools have yet to break up. Houcine Jenayah, a businessman, said the gunman arrived at speed on an inflatable Zodiac boat. 'He opened fire and had grenades with him,' said Mr Jenayah. 'He hid his Kalashnikov behind a parasol that he had in his hand.' Within minutes of the massacre, photographs had been posted on an Instagram account showing a middle-aged man wearing blue shorts lying face down in the sand with a pool of blood around his head. Other bodies were covered with towels and marked with numbers. Bodies of victims are covered up on the beach in Sousse Medics help an injured man in Sousse after gunmen stormed beaches of two hotels in the town of Sousse +37 Medics help an injured man in Sousse after gunmen stormed beaches of two hotels in the town of Sousse Line of fire: One of the women injured during the shooting at the beach in Sousse is taken to hospital Line of fire: One of the women injured during the shooting at the beach in Sousse is taken to hospital Hospital: Injured people are treated near the area where an attack took place in Sousse +37 Hospital: Injured people are treated near the area where an attack took place in Sousse Hurt: Emergency vehicles are parked outside the Imperial Marhaba Hotel in the resort town of Sousse +37 Hurt: Emergency vehicles are parked outside the Imperial Marhaba Hotel in the resort town of Sousse Sousse terror attack: Wounded arrive at private clinic Father-of-three John Yeoman, 46, of Kettering, Northamptonshire, used a bed to barricade himself and his family in the room of his hotel. 'We were in the pool when we heard automatic gunfire. People ran past saying there was an armed man on the beach,' he said. Tweeting a picture of his barricaded room, he added: 'Hope it's enough. It's been going on for 20 minutes. We blocked in our room. There are sounds of a gun battle.' The final moments of the terrorist were captured on camera as, weapon in hand, he prowled the streets of Sousse. With the gunman dead, police pursued suspects through the streets of Sousse, which is about 90 miles south of the capital Tunis. More than three hours after the massacre an apparent accomplice was arrested near the motorway. Pictures showed him being punched in the face by a furious woman as he was marched through the town by armed police. Police were pictured detaining several men in the aftermath of the carnage but it was not clear last night whether the suspects were connected to the attack. While there were multiple accounts of what happened, most witnesses spoke of a lone gunman who was later shot dead by the Tunisian security forces. GUNMAN WAS RIGHT NEXT TO US... WE SAW PEOPLE DYING Two terrified British women were yards from the attacker when he pulled a gun from behind an umbrella and started to shoot. Ellie Makin, 22, of Ripon, North Yorkshire, and her friend Debbie Horsfall, from Huddersfield, were relaxing on the beach when the Tunisian horror began. Speaking from her barricaded hotel room last night, Miss Makin said: 'We were on the beach and there was a man on our right with an umbrella. 'He dropped the umbrella and pulled a gun, he started shooting everyone on the right. He was just shooting people and they dropped to the floor. I saw people dying around me. 'Everyone started screaming to run, so we just turned and ran.' The pair sprinted to the hotel to hide from the attacker, but were told by staff the sounds were just a lawnmower. Miss Makin, a tennis coach, said: 'I said 'No it's not, that's gunfire!' No one knew what they were doing.' Before long the gunman burst into the hotel and started to shoot. Miss Makin ran upstairs and hid in a stranger's room. Last night said she 'had never feared for her life as much as today'. Holed up with Miss Horsfall last night, she said there was not enough security surrounding the hotel. She said: 'And now there's no police, no one protecting us. They say they've got the place on lockdown, that's bull****. 'They told us to get into our rooms, but we've got another room as there was shooting in the one next to it. Tourist describes hearing gunman fire shots below them Eyewitness: Ellie Makin (pictured), 22, of Ripon, North Yorkshire, and her friend Debbie Horsfall, from Huddersfield, were relaxing on the beach when the Tunisian horror began +37 Eyewitness: Ellie Makin (pictured), 22, of Ripon, North Yorkshire, and her friend Debbie Horsfall, from Huddersfield, were relaxing on the beach when the Tunisian horror began Lucky: Olivia Leathley (left), 24, a chef from Chorlton, Manchester, said she and her boyfriend escaped the massacre at the Imperial Marhaba hotel only because she was charging her phone +37 Lucky: Olivia Leathley (left), 24, a chef from Chorlton, Manchester, said she and her boyfriend escaped the massacre at the Imperial Marhaba hotel only because she was charging her phone Safety: Terrified tourists are holed up inside the Imperial hotel in the resort town of Sousse, a popular tourist destination 90 miles south of the Tunisian capita +37 Safety: Terrified tourists are holed up inside the Imperial hotel in the resort town of Sousse, a popular tourist destination 90 miles south of the Tunisian capita Defence: A holidaymaker John Yeoman has barricaded himself inside his hotel room in Sousse (pictured) +37 Defence: A holidaymaker John Yeoman has barricaded himself inside his hotel room in Sousse (pictured) 'We don't want to stay in here. We just want to get home now, right now. I want to go home. No one is telling us anything, people are saying there's still attackers on the run but we don't know. 'I couldn't get through to the Foreign Office for an hour and a half and they just told me to wait for a call. 'Another man staying here went to check out outside and said he saw no police, no cordon, anything.' Miss Makin posted a picture of her Facebook update on Twitter last night. It said: 'The most terrifying day of my life in Tunisia. 'I have never feared for my life as much as today. Get me back home. Scared isn't even the word.' Ellie's father, Michael, contacted the Daily Mail to say there was 'barely any security' in the Imperial Marhaba hotel where his daughter is staying. Mr Makin said: 'My daughter was the first person to see the gunmen. She saw the man next to her get shot dead. 'She ran back to the hotel and shouted the man had a gun. She is OK, but she said there is barely any security at the hotel. It's really worrying.' When Miss Horsfall took refuge in the hotel she heard a woman say her husband had been shot. 'All we could think of was we're next,' she said. Stacey Webb, 23, from Barry, South Wales, said she locked herself in a hotel bathroom with seven others following the shooting. I have never been more scared in my life but I hope God is with me,' she said. Kelsie Collins, 24, of Pontypridd, who is staying at the Sahara Beach Resort near the seafront, said her family had been told to stay in their room. She said: 'There's mostly Brits here in the hotel but nobody is really saying anything to each other, everyone's confused and in shock.' . Zohra Driss, owner of the Marhaba, confirmed the gunman started firing from the beach before moving on to the hotel swimming pool. Last night it was claimed that around 15 young Tunisians had been stopped from travelling to Belgrade and 30 others banned from travelling to Istanbul for reasons that were not disclosed. Interior ministry sources denied reports that Tunisians aged under 35 had been banned from leaving the country. But they admitted port and airport controls had been strengthened and youngsters were being quizzed as part of 'preventative measures'. Tunisia has seen militant Islamists gain strength since the overthrow of long-serving ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in a popular uprising in 2011. Democratic elections after the removal of Ben Ali saw the moderate Islamist Ennahda party take power before the secularist Nidaa Tounes party won control following a parliamentary poll in October. Neither party has been able effectively to combat Islamist violence. This has been made worse by a conflict in neighbouring Libya and by Tunisian fighters returning home after going to join Islamist campaigns in Iraq and Syria where up to 10,000 have fought. Around 1.2million tourists – a third of them British – visit Tunisia every year. Most are drawn to Sousse, which has large beachfront hotels and wide sandy beaches. Slaughter on the sunbeds: Five Britons killed by ISIS as UK police told 'You're next' Terror outrages in three countries left 63 people dead yesterday, five of them British. Security officials fear the slaughter in Tunisia, Kuwait and France could be followed by further attacks around the globe – including on police and soldiers in the UK. The atrocities – timed to coincide with the Muslim festival of Ramadan – are believed to have been co-ordinated by Islamic State. The British victims died in the Tunisian resort of El Kantaoui near Sousse. A gunman disguised as a tourist and hiding a Kalashnikov under an umbrella ran amok among holidaymakers relaxing on the beach. A 16-year-old Briton saw his parents and grandmother gunned down in front of him. Hero: British man Matthew James (right), who was shot three times on the beach during the onslaught, used his body as a human shield to protect his fiancee Sarah Wilson (left) from being killed by the maniac gunman +37 Hero: British man Matthew James (right), who was shot three times on the beach during the onslaught, used his body as a human shield to protect his fiancee Sarah Wilson (left) from being killed by the maniac gunman Brave: Speaking from the hospital in Tunisia Matthew's (pictured) fiance Sarah said: 'He took a bullet for me... I owe him my life' +37 Brave: Speaking from the hospital in Tunisia Matthew's (pictured) fiance Sarah said: 'He took a bullet for me... I owe him my life' Murdered: Lorna Carty (pictured) from Ireland is thought to be one of the 37 people killed in Sousse +37 Murdered: Lorna Carty (pictured) from Ireland is thought to be one of the 37 people killed in Sousse Another Briton became a human shield to save the life of his girlfriend. Thirty-seven people were killed and 36 wounded at the Imperial Marhaba and Bellevue hotels. In Lyon, a businessman was decapitated in an attack on a gas plant and a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Kuwaiti mosque, killing 25. The triple terror attacks came as: UK police were put on alert and the armed forces told not to wear their uniforms in public; David Cameron expressed Britain's 'solidarity in fighting this evil of terrorism'; The military is on standby to help evacuate the 20,000 UK tourists in Tunisia if needed; The Tunisian fanatic selected Western tourists before opening fire; France said the gas plant suspect was a known extremist. In Tunisia, terrified British families told how they ran for their lives and cowered in their rooms to escape the horror on the beach. The gunman walked 'from sun shade to sun shade' selecting his victims, singling out the British. Officials said Tunisians, Germans and Belgians were also among the dead. The killer was identified as Seifeddine Yacoubi, 23, an aviation student from the Tunisian city of Kairouan. The attacks come just four days after Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, a spokesman for IS, chillingly called on followers to strike against its enemies during Ramadan. He said: 'O Allah make this month a month of victories for the Muslims everywhere and make it a month of disasters, defeats, and disgrace for the kuffar (unbelievers) everywhere.' Intelligence officials in London and Washington have warned of the significance of the unprecedented threat to use Ramadan as a trigger for atrocities. Bloodied: Emergency workers rushed to get the injured people to a hospital +37 Bloodied: Emergency workers rushed to get the injured people to a hospital Embrace: Scared tourists comfort one another at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel having survived the terrifying gun attack outside the beachside hotel +37 Embrace: Scared tourists comfort one another at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel having survived the terrifying gun attack outside the beachside hotel Contemplative: Tourists sit at the terrace of the Imperiale Marhaba hotel after a gunman opened fire at the beachside hotel in Sousse +37 Contemplative: Tourists sit at the terrace of the Imperiale Marhaba hotel after a gunman opened fire at the beachside hotel in Sousse One senior UK official said of the attacks in France and Tunisia: 'It could happen here. We have been lucky so far. We have been one step ahead and we have managed to stop them – but we will not stop every one.' Speaking in Brussels yesterday, David Cameron warned: 'This is a threat that faces all of us. These events have taken place today in Tunisia and in France but they can happen anywhere.' Security sources in the UK say Islamist fanatics are determined to carry out an atrocity against a police officer or another member of the Armed Forces, in the wake of the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in south-east London. Soldiers have been told not to wear their uniforms outside barracks amid intelligence that fanatics are searching the internet for the locations of military bases and displays. Sajjan Gohel of the Asia-Pacific Foundation think-tank said: 'We need to wait to see if the attacks are linked, but Islamic State is going to take credit for all three. Even if they are not directly coordinated attacks, they are very likely to be inspired by IS.' Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3140454/Tourists-run-lives-Tunisian-beach-gunman-carries-attack-outside-hotel-packed-Britons.html#ixzz3eEXI1g7H Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook ============= At least 38 killed as gunmen attack beach outside 2 tourist hotels in Tunisia Published time: June 26, 2015 11:40 Edited time: June 27, 2015 01:49 Get short URL Tunisian army soldiers arrive after a gunman opened fire on a beachside hotel in Sousse, Tunisia June 26, 2015. (Reuters / Amine Ben Aziza) Tunisian army soldiers arrive after a gunman opened fire on a beachside hotel in Sousse, Tunisia June 26, 2015. (Reuters / Amine Ben Aziza) Tags Africa, Security A beach outside two hotels in central Tunisia have been attacked, with at least 38 dead and 36 injured, and panic being reported at the scene. Two gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles reportedly penetrated a private area and opened fire. FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES READ MORE: ‘Run, run, run...’ Eyewitnesses share their accounts of Tunisia beach massacre scene One of the hotels is the five-star Imperial Marhaba. According to Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid 38 people were killed in the attack, mainly foreigners. "The majority are British," Essid told a news conference. "After come the Germans, then the Belgians and then other nationalities," he said, adding that there were also French among the victims. The ministry said the death toll in what is considered a terror attack could rise. Local media say over 36 people have been injured. "It happened about half an hour ago – I heard a bang and I thought it was thunder but it was a clear sky so it obviously wasn't," a witness told Sky News. "I heard sirens going off about 20 minutes ago and everyone came running back from the private hotel beach which is about 400 metres from the hotel. Everyone is a bit clueless about what is happening." "We were told to go back to our rooms because there were reports of a bomb," another witness staying at a hotel near-by also told The Daily Mail. Witnesses say they were first told to leave the beach and lock themselves in their rooms, and later to gather in the lobby. The hotels are in the tourist complex of Port El Kantaoui, some 10 km from the city of Sousse in central Tunisia. Photos showing at least two dead bodies and a suspected gunman killed by security forces are circulating on the web. There is some confusion whether he had any accomplices. Reports on Twitter said one or two more suspected shooters were captured after the attack, but later Tunisia's Interior Ministry stated the man had been acting on his own. Sousse is one of Tunisia's most popular beach resorts, which attracts tourists from Europe as well as neighboring countries. The North African country has been on high alert since Islamist gunmen attacked the Bardo museum in the capital of Tunis in March, killing 22 people including foreign tourists. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for that attack. ================ Watch: Inside Tunisia Gunman's Apartment As new footage shows the inside of a dirty flat, investigators look at how a breakdancing youth was turned into a mass murderer. 17:05, UK, Sunday 28 June 2015 Play video "Inside Tunisia Gunman's Flat" Video: Inside Tunisia Gunman's Flat  Share on Twitter  Share on Facebook  Share on Google+  Share by email Seifeddine Rezgui’s apartment was bare and filthy, according to newly emerged footage that appears to show the inside of the Tunisia gunman's flat. It was not clear when the footage by Tunisia's Mosaique was taken. The station's YouTube page said the video was published on Saturday. Empty bottles, pots and plastic bags lie underneath the basin while the floor is covered in dirt. A knife and fork still lie on a dinner table while the fridge is empty and dirty except for a few potatoes, chili peppers and what seem to be tomatoes. Rezgui was a 23-year-old aviation student who was previously unknown to Tunisia's counter-terrorism officials and appears to have been radicalised in the last six months. Buffering Video: Tunisian Gunman As Breakdancer Just how that happened will be the focus of the Tunisian investigation into the shooting, which left 38 people dead, including reportedly 30 Britons, on a beach resort last Friday. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack - and in Twitter messages, referred to Rezgui using the jihadist pseudonym Abu Yahya al Qayruhni. Another video that emerged in the aftermath of the massacre shows Rezgui breakdancing. 1/6 Abu Yahya al Qayrawani Tunisia attack gunman Seifeddine Yacoubi Gallery: Sky Obtains Exclusive Images Of Tunisian Attacker Seifeddine Rezgui Tunisia attack gunman Seifeddine Yacoubi Tunisia attack gunman Seifeddine Yacoubi Tunisia attack gunman Seifeddine Yacoubi Abu Yahya al Qayrawani Tunisia attack gunman Seifeddine Yacoubi Gallery: Sky Obtains Exclusive Images Of Tunisian Attacker Seifeddine Rezgui   The video, taken five years ago, was posted on a Facebook page set up by a group of friends interested in rap music. It shows Rezgui wearing skinny jeans, a hoodie and a baseball cap as he performs spins and handstands to a techno soundtrack. Rezgui was born in Gaafour - a town approximately 100 miles from Sousse, the site of the massacre. He had never travelled abroad in his lifetime, prompting fears that he was radicalised at home, potentially at a local mosque. Play video "Tunisia's Homegrown Terrorism" Video: Tunisia's Homegrown Terrorism Friends told Sky News that even two days before the attack, Rezgui showed no signs of radicalisation, visiting a cafe and going for a walk. Those accounts were backed up by the killer's uncle Ali al Rezgui, who told the Telegraph the family had seen nothing to worry them - although Seifeddine Rezgui had apparently been traumatised by the death of his brother in a lightning strike in 2010. Mr Rezgui told the paper: "He used to use hair gel and wear the nicest of clothes, and he used to do break dancing. Play video "Special Report: IS Recruitment" Video: Special Report: IS Recruitment "He even used to go to competitions and things like that in Tunis, he was well known for that here. He didn't even have a beard, and I've never seen him with anyone with a beard. "We have extremists like that in Gaafour, but never have I seen him with them. Now he's shooting people with a Kalashnikov, it's just so confusing."

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