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The New Arab

Families of victims in Tunisian beach attack await answers

Families of the victims have told the court about the killings in Sousse [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 February, 2017

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A seven-week inquest into a militant attack on British holiday makers in Tunisia's Sousse will conclude on Tuesday, which has so far uncovered some shocking truths about Tunisian security forces.
Families of 30 British holidaymakers killed during a mass shooting at a resort in Tunisia are awaiting the results of a seven-week inquest into the attack in Sousse.

A conclusion of the findings will be announced later on Tuesday at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to determine whether the UK foreign office and travel companies failed to notify holidaymakers of the risks from terrorism in Tunisia at the time.

Thirty British holidaymakers were among 38 people killed when a lone Tunisian gunman went on a rampage at a resort in Sousse which lasted half an hour.

The attack, later claimed by the Islamic State group, was the deadliest terror incident involving British citizens since the 2005 bombings in London.

So far, the inquest has highlighted a catalogue of errors by Tunisian security forces who failed to assist the holidaymakers.

Many of the survivors pretended to be dead to escape the gunman.

Tunisian police and army are accused of stalling their deployment to the scene, which allowed the gunman to continue his killing unhindered until he was shot dead while fleeing the scene.

A Tunisian judge said the tourism police failed to reach the scene on time due to "simple cowardice".

One British man said he was alone on the beach for 20 minutes assisting the injured and dying before security forces and ambulances arrived.

Survivors and relatives also told how tour companies assured them Tunisia was "100 percent safe" before going.

This was despite another deadly attack on holiday makers by a gunman at a museum in the capital shortly before and warnings from the UK foreign office.

Tui, part of Thomson Cook Group, is also accused of selling insurance that would not reimburse holiday makers if they cancelled their trips due to terrorism, according to The Guardian.

A coroner is expected to rule that the 30 victims were unlawfully killed, but did not say whether he would conclude neglect was a factor in their deaths.

The coroner admitted that the findings today will likely be an "anti-climax" for the families, BBC news reported.

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