A beach attached to the tourist complex of Port El Kantaoui near the city of Sousse in central Tunisia was attacked by a gunman on Friday. The death toll from the attack has risen to 37, according to the country’s health ministry.
At least five Britons are among the dead the UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said, warning that a “high proportion” of the casualties were expected to be British “because of the nature of the resort”.
The gunman was killed by police at the beach resort area was acting alone during the attack, AP reported, citing Tunisia’s Interior Ministry.
The ministry had previously said two gunmen were involved in the attack with one of them shot by security forces and another having fled the scene.
The Tunisian health ministry has confirmed that those killed included Britons, Tunisians, Germans and Belgians.
A holidaymaker from Scotland has spoken about being caught up in the gun attack which has killed at least 37 people.
STV news reports:
Diane Boyd, from East Kilbride, is on holiday in Tunisia with her partner David Fleming from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.
Ms Boyd told STV News: “We are staying in the El Mouradi Palm Marina Hotel which is the hotel next door to the one where this incident happened.
“We were on the beach this morning at around 12pm and we heard this noise and shot up quickly.
“It sounded like rapid gunfire, that is the only way I could describe it.
“We got into reception and it was a bit chaotic. A few people were upset but mainly people were just walking around in shock.
“Then we went back to our hotel room and we could see from the balcony the armed police and police helicopters on the beach.”
Ms Boyd and Mr Fleming arrived in Tunisia on Sunday and are there for ten days.
She added: “We stayed in our room for about an hour and then went down to reception to get information, but there’s not really any available.
“We’ve just been watching the news and seeing the details about 27 dead.
“It is such a shame as this is a beautiful country and we have been having such a great holiday.”
Moya McCullagh, from Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, told Sky News her son Darren and his girlfriend had run for their lives after spotting a suicide bomber on the beach.
She said Darren, a trainee officer in the Merchant Navy, had run back to his beachfront hotel, where he and his girlfriend hid in a room.
Ms McCullagh said her son had told her there were “bodies everywhere”.
She said: “He is in a room and he has no idea what’s going on. He’s with his girlfriend and they’re in some kind of laundry room keeping quiet.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We are closely monitoring the horrifying situation in Tunisia and our thoughts are with those affected and families worried about loved ones.
“The Scottish Government is in contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and we stand ready to offer assistance as appropriate.”
Those killed are most likely to be foreign as the local Muslim population is less likely to go to the beach during the holy month of Ramadan.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said: “A terrorist infiltrated the buildings from the back before opening fire on the residents of the hotel, including foreigners and Tunisians.”
Pictures posted on social media appeared to show the body of a man face down in the sand with empty sun loungers behind him.
Sousse is a city on the east coast of Tunisia, about 87 miles south of the capital, Tunis. Around 1.2 million tourists visit the town every year.
Holiday firms with customers in the resort – including Thomson, First Choice and Sunway – all said they were trying to find out more about what had happened and support customers.
The reported hotels are not offered by Thomas Cook and none of their customers or staff were in residence at the time of the incident, the company said.
But it said it does currently have customers staying in other parts of the resort.
A statement said: “In light of today’s events, Thomas Cook is offering customers the opportunity to amend their bookings to Tunisia free of charge for holidays departing up to and including July 24 2015.”
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