Minute’s silence to remember victims of beach attack

Police officers patrolling the beach after the attack in Tunisia. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Police officers patrolling the beach after the attack in Tunisia. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The first anniversary of the Tunisian beach massacre – which claimed the lives of Leeds grandparents Sharon and Christopher Bell – will be marked with a minute’s silence today.

Thirty Britons were among 38 people killed by ISIS gunman Seifeddine Rezgui in the coastal resort of Port El Kantaoui on June 26 last year.

Christopher and Sharon Bell.

Christopher and Sharon Bell.

Mr and Mrs Bell, who had three children and a number of grandchildren, were among the victims of the deadly attack in Sousse.

A minute’s silence will be observed in government buildings across the UK and in British embassies overseas at noon to pay respects to those who lost their lives and were affected by the attack.

The Imperial Marhaba hotel attacked by Rezgui remains closed, and others have shut down as British tour groups stay away.

The minister for North Africa, Tobias Ellwood, has travelled to Tunisia for meetings with officials from the country’s government.

He said: “As we mark the first anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack in Sousse we remember the 38 people brutally murdered, including 30 British nationals.

“A year on, we keep in our thoughts and prayers the family and friends who lost loved ones, those who were injured and others who witnessed this horrendous attack.

“We continue to work closely with Tunisia to enhance security and support economic development and reform.

“Tunisia will not stand alone in the face of the terrorist threat and the UK will be by its side.”

Clive Garner of law firm Irwin Mitchell, which is representing some of the people affected by the attack at inquest hearings and in civil claims, said: “Obviously nothing can bring back those who lost their lives in Sousse, but the families who we represent rightly want to have their questions answered.

Mr Garner added: “There is much that they still want to understand, including the details of what happened before and during the incident and whether more could have been done to prevent the terrible loss of life.”