Tu­nisia makes first beach at­tack ar­rests as the UK urges fight­back

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY CAMILLE BOUIS­SOU

Tu­nisia said Mon­day it had made its first ar­rests af­ter a beach mas­sacre that killed 38 peo­ple, as Euro­pean of­fi­cials paid trib­ute to vic­tims of the coun­try’s worst ji­hadist at­tack.

Bri­tish Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May, speak­ing at the scene of Fri­day’s gun at­tack at a Tu­nisian hol­i­day re­sort, vowed that “the ter­ror­ists will not win” af­ter Lon­don warned that the UK’s death toll could rise to “around 30.”

The mas­sacre, claimed by the Is­lamic State group, was the dead­li­est for the UK since the 2005 Lon­don bomb­ings, and there are fears it could in­flict a dev­as­tat­ing blow to Tu­nisia’s vi­tal tourism in­dus­try.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ha­jem Gharsalli said the author­i­ties had ar­rested “a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of peo­ple from the net­work that was be­hind this ter­ror­ist crim­i­nal,” re­fer­ring to the lone gun­man.

May trav­eled on Mon­day to the re­sort of Port el Kan­taoui south of Tu­nis, and promised to fight ex­trem­ism in the wake of the at­tack.

“We will be united in work­ing to­gether to de­feat them but united also in work­ing to de­fend our val­ues,” May said at a joint news con­fer­ence with her Ger­man, French and Tu­nisian coun­ter­parts af­ter vis­it­ing the scene of the killings.

“We are re­solved ... to de­feat those who would do us harm, to de­feat those who would un­der­mine our free­dom and democ­racy and to en­sure that the ter­ror­ists do not win,” she added.

May and the Ger­man and French in­te­rior min­is­ters, Thomas de Maiziere and Bernard Cazeneuve, joined Tu­nisian of­fi­cials in lay­ing a wreath in the sand near the Riu Im­pe­rial Marhaba Ho­tel where the at­tack hap­pened.

Shock­ing New Footage

A spokesper­son for Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, mean­while, said the UK had iden­ti­fied 18 of its na­tion­als killed, but warned that the num­ber may rise to “around 30.”

Tu­nisia says four other vic­tims have been iden­ti­fied as be­ing tourists from Ger­many, Por­tu­gal, Ire­land and Bel­gium. Ire­land said Sun­day three of its cit­i­zens were killed.

Shock­ing new am­a­teur footage from the at­tack has emerged on so­cial media, show­ing the gun­man walk­ing calmly along the shore and blood­ied bod­ies on the sand.

In­ter­mit­tent gun­fire can be heard in the 11-minute am­a­teur video, recorded by a Tu­nisian man us­ing his mo­bile phone who can be heard ask­ing: “Why do you kill peo­ple? Why?”

The at­tacker, iden­ti­fied

as 23- year- old stu­dent Seifed­dine Rezgui, pulled a Kalash­nikov as­sault ri­fle from in­side a beach um­brella and opened fire on hol­i­day­mak­ers at the re­sort be­fore be­ing shot dead.

Flow­ers have been laid along the beach near the re­sort. On Mon­day, hand­writ­ten mes­sages could be seen placed next to the flow­ers read­ing “We are sorry” and “We are Mus­lims, not ter­ror­ists.”

Cameron vowed to mount a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion and called for “a re­sponse at home and abroad” to vi­o­lent Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal­ism.

“We must be stronger at stand­ing up for our val­ues — of peace, democ­racy, tol­er­ance, free­dom,” he wrote in the Daily Tele­graph.

The at­tack — the sec­ond on tourists in Tu­nisia af­ter the Na­tional Bardo Mu­seum killings killed 22 peo­ple in March — prompted author­i­ties to boost se­cu­rity at at­trac­tions and along its 1,000 kilo­me­ters (620 miles) of coast­line.

AP

Peo­ple lay flow­ers and scarves in trib­ute to three club soc­cer fans who lost their lives in the re­cent Tu­nisia beach mas­sacre, in mem­ory of Pa­trick Evans, Adrian Evans and Joel Richards, at Wal­sall soc­cer club Banks’s Sta­dium in Wal­sall, Eng­land on Mon­day June 29.

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