39 DEAD! Tunisia attack on Sousse beach.

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Dozens of people were also injured in the attack
At least 39 people, mostly foreigners, have been killed and 36 injured in an attack on a beach in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse, according to the health ministry.
 Video footage showed the body of a suspected gunman lying in a street.

Tunisians, Britons, Germans and Belgians and at least one Irish citizen are among the dead.

In March militants killed 22 people, mainly foreign tourists, in an attack on a museum in the capital Tunis.

At least five Britons are confirmed dead,[1]Read: Tunisia attack: Five Britons among dead UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said, adding: “We must expect more reports of fatalities”.

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has gone to Sousse hospital to visit the injured and promised “painful but necessary measures” in the wake of the attack.

Security officials said one attacker, who had posed as a swimmer but was carrying a rifle under a parasol, started shooting on the beach before entering the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba, continuing to shoot as he walked past the pool.

He was then shot dead in an exchange of fire with police, officials said. They said he was a student not previously known to authorities.

Local media reported that a second suspected attacker had been arrested, but this has not been confirmed.

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Dozens of people were also injured in the attack

Day of attacks:

The shooting in Tunisia comes on the same day as:

» ReadA man was decapitated and several others injured at a factory in France

» ReadA deadly attack on a Shia mosque in Kuwait

» Read: France, Kuwait and Tunisia attacks: What we know

» Read: Who could be behind Tunisia attack?

One British holidaymaker in Sousse, Steve Johnson, told the BBC: “We were just lying on the beach as usual and… we heard what we thought at first was fireworks.

“But it was soon pretty obvious… that it was firearms that were being discharged and people screaming and starting to run.”

The Islamic State (IS) militant group had called on its followers to increase attacks during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, but no-one has yet said they were behind this attack.

Social media accounts close to IS have praised the attack and showed pictures of the man they say carried out the killings.

Analysis: BBC’s Aidan Lewis

It is often hard to prove the links between separate cases of bloodshed, even when claims of responsibility are issued by the same group.

Violence is often driven by local grievances, with militant factions switching allegiances as the fortunes of bigger international “franchises” like al-Qaeda and Islamic State rise and fall.

That leads to uncertainty as to whether the bigger group directed, co-ordinated, or inspired a given attack, or simply claimed it after the fact. That is what officials and security analysts will be seeking to understand in the aftermath of this bloody day.

Could attacks be connected? » Read: Tunisia, Kuwait and France: Are attacks connected? By Aidan Lewis

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‘He took a bullet for me’

One survivor told the BBC how her fiance, a Welsh tourist, had been shot three times as he used his body as a shield.

“He took a bullet for me,” said Saera Wilson. “I owe him my life because he threw himself in front of me when the shooting started.

“It was the bravest thing I’ve ever known. But I just had to leave him under the sunbed because the shooting just kept on coming.

“I ran back, past bodies on the beach to reach our hotel. It was chaos – there was a body in the hotel pool and it was just full of blood.

Welsh tourist was human shield[2]Read: Tunisia attack: Shot Pontypridd man in Sousse was ‘human shield’

The UK Foreign Office said the British embassy in Tunis was sending a crisis team to the area.

“Any British nationals in these hotels or nearby should remain indoors, and contact their tour operator and the Foreign Office,” the FCO said in its updated travel advice.

The Belgian foreign ministry is advising against all travel to Tunisia and the Belgian Jetairfly airline recalled a flight en route to Tunisia in mid-air, later announcing it is cancelling all flights to Tunisia[3]Read: Tweet by jetairfly  “Following the attacks in Tunisia, we have decided not to fly to Tunisia anymore.” because of the attack.

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Friday’s attack was the deadliest in Tunisia’s recent history. The country 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 Ben Ali’s removal saw the moderate Islamist Ennahda party take power before the secularist Nidaa Tounes government won a parliamentary poll in October.

However, neither party has been able effectively to combat Islamist violence made worse by a raging conflict in neighbouring Libya and by Tunisian fighters returning home after going to join Islamist campaigns in Iraq and Syria.

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Original Source: bbc.com "Tunisia attack on Sousse beach 'kills 39'"

References

References
1 Read: Tunisia attack: Five Britons among dead
2 Read: Tunisia attack: Shot Pontypridd man in Sousse was ‘human shield’
3 Read: Tweet by jetairfly  “Following the attacks in Tunisia, we have decided not to fly to Tunisia anymore.”
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Watchman

pseudonym: Ball-peen Hammer Green

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