Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Security Blunders; FEARS WERE EXPRESSED BEFORE MASSACRE IN SOUSSE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Security Blunders; FEARS WERE EXPRESSED BEFORE MASSACRE IN SOUSSE

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WILCOCK and CATHERINE WILEY Reporters ncj.ecnews@trinitymirror.com

SECURITY at the scene of the Tunisian holiday terror atrocity was criticised in a Government probe months before 38 people were killed in the outrage there, an inquest has heard.

The January 2015 "recce" of hotels included the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba in Sousse where Seifeddine Rezgui massacred tourists, including Tyneside grandmother Lisa Burbidge.

The inquests into the deaths of the 30 British victims heard the report questioned the security at the beach entrances to 30 hotels in three resorts.

Rezgui killed around 10 of his victims on the beach and then entered the upmarket hotel.

The resort, where Ms Burbidge, a 66-year-old grandmother-of-four from Whickham, Gateshead, was staying, had previously been targeted by a suicide bomber in October 2013, who killed only himself.

Andrew Ritchie QC, who represents 20 victims' families, read extracts from the redacted report to the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

He said: "Given that the attack on the Riadh Palms Hotel in October 2013 was launched from the beach, particular attention was paid to the beach access points.

"It (the report) said 'Despite some good security infrastructure around the hotels and resorts there seems to be little in the way of effective security to prevent or respond to an attack (from the beach)'."

Mr Ritchie said the Government was aware that Islamic State-linked extremists had warned they would target tourists in a video posted on You-Tube in December 2014.

The inquests have previously heard official guidance for tourists to Tunisia said there was a "high risk of terrorism" at the time of the Sousse attack.

This had not been updated to the highest level of advising against all travel, despite a previous terror attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March 2015 that killed 24 people.

The January report on the hotel security was carried out by an unnamed man who was in Mumbai in India at the time of the terrorist attack there in 2008, the inquest heard. …

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