Scotland

Tunisia attack: Scottish holidaymakers return from Sousse

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Media captionThe flight from Tunisia arrived at Glasgow Airport on Monday morning

Scots holidaymakers have returned home from Tunisia in the wake of the Sousse terror attack that left 38 people dead, the vast majority of them British.

Many of those arriving at Glasgow Airport had opted to end their break early and take the specially-chartered Thomson flight, which arrived at 06:10.

Jim and Ann McQuire, from Cumbernauld, are thought to be among those who died in Friday's attack.

Another couple - Billy and Lisa Graham, from Perth - are still missing.

None of those killed by a gunman with links to Islamic State extremists on a beach near Sousse has been formally identified.

But there have been warnings that more than 30 of the 38 fatalities are British.

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that a national minute's silence will be held to remember the victims.

The silence will take place on Friday at 12:00, a week after the shooting.

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Image caption The authorities believe Jim and Ann McQuire died in the attack
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Image caption Billy and Lisa Graham are said to have been missing since the shooting

The congregation at Abronhill Parish Church in Cumbernauld was told on Sunday that the authorities were "99.9% sure" that Mr and Mrs McQuire had died in the shooting.

The couple had been heavily involved with the church, with Mr McQuire being a captain with the Boys Brigade.

Minister Joyce Keyes said: "I don't think I can make any sense of it at all. My feeling is of numbness.

"They were regular holiday goers since their retirement and were really looking forward to it."

'Really scared'

Meanwhile, Holly Graham has said she is desperately worried after not hearing from her parents Billy and Lisa since the attack.

She said she had struggled to find out what was happening from tour operator Thomson or the Foreign Office.

Flights have been arriving back at Glasgow Airport from Tunisia.

Waiting relatives said police had boarded one of the planes and were speaking to passengers.

Among those arriving at Glasgow Airport earlier was Aamer Saeed, 37, from Glasgow's west end, who had been due to be on holiday with his children, aged eight and 12, for another week.

He said: "The kids were really scared and they didn't want to stay any longer. There was nothing you could do anyway, you just had to stay in.

"I feel sorry for the people there, it's not their fault. But it was frightening. We just stayed in the hotel, everything was cancelled."

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Media captionFootage appears to show the gunman running along the shoreline after the Tunisia beach attack

Natalie Martin, a mother from Falkirk, said: "It was quite scary, we are just glad to be back home.

"The guys in the hotel tried to keep it upbeat for the families there but it was hard. Most of the hotel came back early."

She said she felt "a bit let down" by the support offered to tourists, adding: "We had to keep going to the rep all the time, asking if we were safe. We had to keep going to them."

Rick Martin, 52, from Peterhead, was staying two hotels along the coast and was on a day trip away when the massacre happened.

Image caption A number of flights arrived at Glasgow Airport on Monday

He said: "We found out on Friday afternoon, we got phone calls from the UK. It's very sad."

Asked about the support provided to holidaymakers, he said: "A young lassie, 21 years old, did her best. She told us what she knew."

One female traveller, who did not want to be named, said: "The support has been great. I just feel for the local people, because it's their livelihood."

'Horrific attack'

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon chaired a further Scottish government resilience (SGORR) meeting on Monday afternoon - the third since the attack. Flags in Scottish government buildings are being flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.

Ms Sturgeon said: "While we have not yet received official confirmation that any of the dead come from Scotland, it now seems certain that there will be Scottish victims."

She said understood and sympathised with people who were concerned for loved ones and wanted immediate answers.

But she added: "The situation in Sousse is highly complex due to the scale of the attack, the number of people killed and the fact that the victims come from different countries.

"I would ask people to be reassured that the UK government, Scottish government and all agencies involved are working as fast as possible to identify victims, keep families informed and help people travel back as quickly and safely as possible."

The prime minister has paid tribute to Mr and Mrs McQuire.

He was speaking in the Commons following a minute's silence held by MPs in memory of those killed.

Mr Cameron added his condolences during an exchange with the couple's MP Stuart McDonald, who described the pair as "extremely kind and considerate."

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