Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Tough security promised as tourists flee

Published:Sunday | June 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Tourists walk at the Nfidha airport near Sousse, Tunisia, yesterday as they fled the North African country in the wake of its worst terrorist attack ever.


Tunisia's prime minister announced yesterday a string of new security measures, including closing renegade mosques and calling up army reservists, as thousands of tourists fled the North African country in wake of its worst terrorist attack ever.

Tourists crowded into the airport at Hammamet near the coastal city of Sousse, where a young man dressed in shorts last Friday pulled an assault rifle and grenades out of his beach umbrella and killed 38 people, mostly tourists. At least 15 victims were British, according to the United Kingdom foreign minister.

Tobias Ellwood warned that the toll "may well rise" and described it as the most "significant terrorist attack on the British people", since the July 2005 bombings of the London transport network that killed 52 people.

War against terrorism

In the early hours of the morning on Saturday, a visibly exhausted Prime Minister Habib Essid called for everyone to work against terrorism and promised financial rewards for information leading to arrests.

"The fight against terrorism is a national responsibility," he said. "We are at war against terrorism which represents a serious danger to national unity during this delicate period that the nation is going through."

The attack came the same day that a suicide bomber killed 27 people in a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and a man in France ran his truck into a warehouse and hung his employer's severed head on the gate.