“The Courier ” Tunisia defends efforts to protect British tourists

He further said that an assessment of the security measures in tourist areas found that more work was needed “to effectively protect tourists from the terrorist threat”.


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised travellers and holidaymakers against all but essential travel to Tunisia, according to a release by Thomson and First Choice.

The parents of Seifeddine Rezgui who killed 38 people in the Tunisian resort city of Sousse on June 26 have defended their 23-year-old son, claiming he was “not capable” of such an attack.

Beach: Victims rushed away after terror attack in Tunisia last month.

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi on Saturday decreed a state of emergency in the north African country for 30 days, and Prime Minister Habib Essid said on Wednesday that the government feared more attacks.

Such decisions are a new wound for Tunisia’s struggling tourism industry and for the nation’s reputation as it tries to solidify its new democracy in a volatile region.

All of the Britons who were killed in Sousse were customers of holiday companies Thomson and First Choice.

Between 2,500 and 3,000 British package holidaymakers are thought to be in Tunisia as well as around 300 independent travellers.

United Kingdom authorities have been working with their Tunisian counterparts since the beach massacre, b ut despite increased security since the shootings the Government said the extra measures did not go far enough.

A Thomas Cook spokesman said customers would be flown back to the United Kingdom “as soon as we can using third-party carriers and on our 10 scheduled flights over the weekend”.

Nabil Ammar, Tunisian ambassador to the United Kingdom, told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “This is what the terrorists want”.

Nevertheless, in its travel to Tunisia advisory, the FCO specifically warns that “further terrorist attacks are highly likely, including in tourist resorts, and by individuals unknown to the authorities whose actions may be inspired by terrorist groups via social media… there is a high threat from terrorism in Tunisia“.

He said that as many travel companies had deciding to discontinue direct flights from Dublin to Monastir earlier this month, they believe that relatively few Irish visitors are now in Tunisia.

Abta, the travel association, said: “Those people with bookings beyond the summer are advised to wait until closer to the departure date to contact their travel company as the situation is fluid”.

British officials say in both cases, Westerners may have been targeted by a terror group trained in Libya, the Times report said.

The Foreign Office said Britons should leave unless they definitely have to stay, adding that people planning to travel there should not unless it was “essential”.


An attack on tourists in Tunisia is said to be highly likely by the United Kingdom government.

Tunisia fears a tourism collapse in the wake of the terror attack