Tunisia terror attack: Brits feared to be among 27 killed in Sousse holiday resort

BRITISH holidaymakers are feared to be among the 27 people killed in an Islamic State-inspired terror attack on two hotels popular with UK tourists in Tunisia.

Sousse beach terror attack

GETTY•INSTAGRAM

Sousse is a popular beach resort in Tunisia

Two gunman attacked a resort in Sousse on the Mediterranean coast, with shots fired on the beach.

Holidaymakers sunbathing were mown down in a hail of bullets in the latest ISIS-linked terror spectacular.

One of the gunmen's bodies lay at the scene with a Kalashnikov assault rifle after he was shot in an exchange of gunfire with police.

The second attacker is believed to be on the run and Tunisian authorities confirmed foreigners were among the dead. 

The Foreign Office said it is aware of the reports that Britons were involved in the incident and is looking into them.

A spokesman said: "We are aware of the ongoing situation at a hotel resort in Sousse, Tunisia. We are urgently looking to establish further details and whether any British citizens are involved."

The attack reportedly took place on the Imperial Marhaba hotel.

Sousse is one of Tunisia's most popular beach resorts, drawing visitors from Europe and neighbouring North African countries.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT BELOW

A British holidaymaker described hearing a large explosion followed by a chaotic scene with tourists running around the hotel.

Unverified photo of the gunmanTWITTER

This unverified photo reportedly shows the gunman lying dead

Infogram for Tunisia

Tunisia Tourism ministry, World Travel and Tourism council

Statistics and figures from Tunisia

Another tourist, Susan Rickett, on holiday in Sousse, said there were reports that people had been shot while sunbathing on their sunbeds. 

She described how "everybody starting running in and screaming" after gunfire was heard on the beach.

She added: "It sounded like a machine gun going off...there was an explosion a little later."

Beach at Sousse

INSTAGRAM•CHERVONEC

Graphic image reportedly showing the scene on the beach in Sousse

It sounded like a machine gun going off

Susan Rickett

David Schofield who heard an explosion while sunbathing by the pool said: "We heard people saying there were guns on the beach and people were shooting on the beach.

"I don't know what's going on.

"I went to reception and they said the police have told us to get everyone inside.

"About five minutes ago I saw some people running. There are some people on the roof but I think that's a representative from the hotel.

"No one is injured that I can see."

Some were left to barricade themselves inside their hotels using mattresses. 

Scene in Sousse

TWITTER•MOURADTEYEB

Casualties were reported on the beach in Tunisia

Fellow Briton Gary Pine said he was on the beach and heard what "we thought was firecrackers going off" 100 yards away, followed by an explosion from the next hotel complex along.

He said "there was a mass exodus off the beach" and his son said he had seen someone get shot on the beach.

He said guests at his hotel were first told to lock themselves in their rooms, and later to gather in the lobby.

Elizabeth O'Brien, an Irish woman on holiday with her two sons in the resort, described how she grabbed her children and ran for their lives when they heard gunfire erupting from one of the hotels.

"We were on the beach, my sons were in the sea and I just got out of the sea.

"It was about 12 o'clock and I just looked up about 500 metres from me and I saw a (hot air) balloon collapse down, then rapid firing, then I saw two of the people who were going to go up in the balloon start to run towards me - because I thought it was fireworks.

"So, I thought 'oh my God, it sounds like gunfire', so I just ran to the sea to my children and grabbed our things and as I was running towards the hotel, the waiters and the security on the beach started saying 'run, run run!' and we just ran to our room, which is like a little bungalow.

"So we are actually trapped in our room."


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