Thousands of tourists fled from Tunisia on Saturday after the country’s worst terrorist attack killed 38 people — including 15 Britons — as the government struggles to prevent future jihadi attacks against the all-important tourism sector.
Tunisian authorities identified the attacker as Seifeddine Rezgui, saying he killed 38 people, 15 of them British, as well as German, Irish, Belgian and Portuguese victims, and sent thousands of tourists fleeing to airports. The wounded included 24 Britons, seven Tunisians, three Belgians, and a German, Russian and Ukrainian.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever been on holiday and feared for my life,” said British tourist Matthew Preece, adding it was his third time visiting Tunisia and likely his last. “So obviously you can’t come back somewhere it’s not safe.”
Tourists and employees are returning home with tales of horror cowering in rooms or offices as the killer stalked through the hotel wearing shorts.
European countries and tour operators sent planes to evacuate their citizens. By midday Saturday, nine flights had whisked away 1,400 people, according to Mohammed Walid Ben Ghachem, manager of the Enfidha-Hammamet Airport near Sousse.
Report by Associated Press.
Alleged gunman identified, dozens of mosques closed
From the Middle East to Africa to France, officials are boosting security after a series of terror attacks. For more on what’s happening in Tunisia, CCTV’s Youssef Gaigi filed this report from Sousse.
Alleged gunman identified, dozens of mosques closedFrom the Middle East to Africa to France, officials are boosting security after a series of terror attacks. For more on what's happening in Tunisia. CCTV's Youssef Gaigi filed this report from Sousse.
William Lawrence on the Tunisia attack
For more on the attack in Tunisia, CCTV’s Susan Roberts spoke to William Lawrence. He is with the nonprofit organization: Project on Middle East Democracy. He is an expert on political transitions in North Africa and the Middle East.