UK

Tunisia beach attack: Last five bodies returned to UK

Lisa Burbidge, Stuart Cullen, Christopher Dyer, Bruce Image copyright Various

The final five bodies of British victims killed in the Tunisia beach attack have returned to the UK.

A coroner will also continue to open inquests into the deaths of those murdered in the attack, which left 38 dead, including 30 Britons.

A minute's silence was held in the UK and at the scene in Sousse on Friday, exactly a week on from the killings.

Tunisia has now declared a state of emergency, having already tightened security in the wake of the attack.

Returning home

The five Britons repatriated on Saturday were:

  • Lisa Burbidge, in her 60s, from Whickham, Gateshead
  • Stuart Cullen, 52, from Lowestoft
  • Christopher Dyer, 32, from Watford
  • Bruce Wilkinson, 72, from Goole, East Riding
  • Claire Windass, 54, from Hull

The bodies arrived on an RAF C-17 aircraft at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at 15:00 BST.


British toll

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Their coffins were loaded on to hearses to travel in convoy to West London Coroner's Court in Fulham, where inquests into their deaths will be opened.

The first inquests were opened on Friday, into the deaths of eight of the victims.

Post-mortem examinations will be carried out before the bodies are released to their families.

On Saturday, the inquests into the deaths of four Scottish tourists killed in the attack were opened and their bodies were released to their families.

The coroner was told that William Graham, 51, died from gunshot wounds to his pelvis while his wife Lisa Graham, 50, died from gunshot wounds to her chest.

James and Ann McQuire, aged 66 and 63, were both killed by shots to the chest.

The post-mortems were carried out in London and their bodies will now be taken to Scotland, at the families' request.

Image caption The coffin carrying Lisa Burbidge was first to be carried off the plane
Image caption The C-17 plane landed at RAF Brize Norton, as did all the previous repatriation flights

Among the three Irish citizens killed in the attack were Larry and Martina Hayes, who were buried in Athlone on Friday - which was also the 30th birthday of their only daughter, Sinead.

Other victims included two Germans, one Belgian, one Portuguese and one Russian national.

Minute's silence

Also on Friday, the Queen and Prime Minister David Cameron joined the minute's silence, along with the families of the dead.

Tourists and Tunisians gathered at the scene of the attack in Sousse, where they linked arms to observe the pause.

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid also took part in the commemorations there and said he was deeply sorry for the attack.

Reports have suggested the assault took place over almost 35 minutes, and that the gunman was able to return to kill some of the wounded before the police arrived.

"The time of the reaction - this is the problem," Mr Essid told the BBC's Richard Galpin.

"We feel really sorry about what happened," he said. "They were our guests. They came to spend their vacation with us, but what happened is a horror, unacceptable."

Image caption The Queen paid her respects during the minute's silence

Tunisian authorities have identified 28-year-old Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgui as the gunman who carried out the attack.

They are also holding eight suspects in custody on suspicion of being directly linked to the attack, which jihadist group Islamic State has claimed. Four others who were held have been released.


Background and analysis

Image copyright Getty Images

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