Tunisia: Arrests made as Theresa May visits

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POLICE in Tunisia made several arrests following the deaths of 38 tourists, as 1,000 troops were deployed on the country’s beaches to prevent further attacks.

Seven people were being interrogated in the country’s capital, Tunis, last night after 24-year-old student Seifeddine Rezgui’s murderous rampage on Friday.

Home Secretary Theresa May, third left, attends a press conference with Tunisia's Interior Minister Mohamed Gharsall. Picture: Getty Images

Home Secretary Theresa May, third left, attends a press conference with Tunisia's Interior Minister Mohamed Gharsall. Picture: Getty Images

Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed that at least 18 Britons were among the dead, although sources have indicated the final figure could be closer to 30. Announcing plans for a minute’s silence across the country at midday on Friday, the Prime Minister said Rezgui was thought to have been the sole gunman, although he had links to the militant group Islamic State (IS).

As more Scots returned home from Tunisia yesterday, further tributes were paid to retired couple Jim and Ann McQuire, from Cumbernauld, who are thought to have been killed, along with Billy and Lisa Graham, from Perth, who have not been heard from since before the attack.

Police in Tunisia said four people had been arrested yesterday – two in the resort town of Sousse where the attack occurred, one in Tunis, and one in the city of Kasserine. Three others were arrested on Sunday.

Authorities say Rezgui acted alone but had accomplices who provided him with weapons and logistical support.

I sympathise with people who want answers

Nicola Sturgeon

The arrests came as dramatic new footage emerged showing Rezgui scouring hotel grounds looking for victims.

Meanwhile, eyewitness Steve Johnson, a retired police officer, claimed to have seen a second gunman who may have been involved in the attack.

Mr Johnson claimed that he had been taken past the body of a man in red shorts in a hotel corridor, who he had earlier seen with a gun.

“When we were being brought back by police into the main hotel, (in) the corridor there was the body of a native male in red shorts, red swimming shorts, who had been shot and was partially covered over.

A Tunisian police officer stands guard as British Home Secretary Theresa May, right, Tunisian Interior Minister Mohamed Najem Gharsalli, second right, and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, left, pay respect to the victims of Friday's shooting. Picture: AP

A Tunisian police officer stands guard as British Home Secretary Theresa May, right, Tunisian Interior Minister Mohamed Najem Gharsalli, second right, and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, left, pay respect to the victims of Friday's shooting. Picture: AP

“I can’t be 100 per cent sure, but he looked very much like the man we had seen running around with a gun by the pool.”

All British nationals injured in the attack are expected to be returned to the UK for treatment by today.

Addressing the House of Commons yesterday, the Prime Minister said the Tunisia attack was part of a “generational struggle” against extremism.

Mr Cameron told MPs travel advice would not currently be updated to tell Britons not to travel to the region of Tunisia attacked on Friday.

He said: “It continues to make clear the high threat from terrorism in the country, just as it did before Friday’s events. But they are not moving to the position of advising against all but essential travel to this part of Tunisia.

“This was agreed by the Cobra emergency committees.

“Of course, we take into account the capability of the country in question and their ability to counter this threat. Here in the UK the threat level remains severe, meaning a terrorist attack is highly likely. But until we have defeated this threat we must resolve as a country to carry on living our lives.”

As Scottish holidaymakers continued to return from Tunisia, the Scottish Government said it was doing everything possible to support those affected.

There has been criticism of the Foreign Office from families waiting to learn what has happened to their relatives.

First Minister Nicola 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.

“I sympathise with people concerned for loved ones and who want immediate answers.

“The victims and their families are foremost in our thoughts today and it’s imperative that people in Sousse, and concerned friends and relatives in Scotland, have all of the advice, help and information they need.

“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.”

Among tourists arriving home at Glasgow airport yesterday was Charles Russell, 50, from Wishaw.

He said: “The Tunisian people don’t deserve the treatment they’re getting. These people are phenomenal and I’ve made a lot of great friends over there.

“We were due to come back today but if we could have stayed on another week then we would have done so.”

The NHS and Glasgow City Council have also been offering their services to returning passengers.

Bill Munro, director of Barrhead Travel, said: “We had 47 passengers on the flight which arrived in Glasgow from Tunisia on Sunday afternoon. Some of them may have been traumatised and that’s why we were down there.

“We’ve been working since Friday. With those who had to cut their holiday short we’re providing the information they need to rebook, or cancel holidays. Some are saying that lightning isn’t likely to strike twice and there’s a lot of security around so people should be safe in Tunisia.”

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