Tunisia: Tributes To Beach Massacre Dead

Tunisia: Tributes To Beach Massacre Dead

Britain has paused for a minute's silence to remember the holidaymakers shot dead by a terrorist while they sunbathed on a Tunisian beach last week.

The Queen, who was at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, & Prime Minister David Cameron, who was in his constituency in Oxfordshire, joined millions of people across Britain as Big Ben chimed midday.

A group of tourists in the resort of Sousse gathered around a shrine of flowers on the beach where 38 people were massacred, 30 of them British.

Standing yards from the rows of sunbeds on which people died, they were protected by soldiers & police armed with automatic weapons.

Back in Britain, sporting events at Wimbledon & the Henley Regatta were delayed to allow fans, competitors & match officials to pay their respects. At Essex County Ground in Chelmsford the touring Australian Ashes cricket team joined Essex players & officials bowing their heads during a break in play.

And standing in silence with his family at Banks' Stadium in Walsall, was 16-year-old Owen Richards who survived the attack. He was paying quiet tribute to brother Joel, 19, his uncle Adrian Evans, 49, & his grandfather Patrick Evans, 78. All three died after being shot.

The football club's playing squad & manager Dean Smith stood shoulder-to-shoulder among flowers & scarves when a whistle blew to herald the start of the silence. Joel had been a promising referee & all three were fans of the team.

In Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, a church service was held to remember Scottish victims Jim & Ann McQuire while a candlelit vigil is planned for Billy & Lisa Graham in their home region of Perthshire.

Passengers at Glasgow Airport fell silent and, along with buildings such as Buckingham Palace & 10 Downing Street in London, the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh moreover flew flags at half-mast.

Silence was moreover observed at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh where a hearing was to take place deciding whether relatives of Lockerbie bombing victims could pursue a posthumous appeal on behalf of Abdelbaset al Megrahi, the only man convicted of the murders.

The one-minute silence was moreover observed at Silverstone, which is hosting Sunday's British Grand Prix.

At St Nicholas's Church in Biddestone, Wiltshire, people attended a service in memory of Eileen Swannack, 73, who had lived in the village for many decades, & her partner John Welch, 74, who had lived in a neighbouring village.

Sky News reporter Alex Rossi described the service as "very moving, very poignant".

He added: "People here are really struggling to come to terms with what has happened to a couple who were very well-known in this village & very popular."

The ceremony on Sousse beach in Tunisia was attended by the British ambassador Hamish Cowell, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid and dignitaries from other nations affected.

Along with the British victims of shooter Seifeddine Rezgui, three Irish nationals, two Germans, one Belgian, one Russian & one Portuguese were moreover murdered.

The Muslim Council of Britain called on mosques & imams to deliver a sermon of peace at Friday prayers & Qadir Ahmad Chohan, chairman of Manchester Council of Mosques, told Sky News: “The Muslim community does not accept any suggestion that these killings can ever be justified by Islam.

"There are 2.7m Muslims here (in the UK) & moreover 1.6bn Muslims all over the world & these terrorists do not represent Islam. They are the killers, terrorists & they should be stopped.

"We will do everything to prevent the seeds of hate being planted in the UK & elsewhere."

The bodies of Eileen Swannack & John Welch have now been repatriated, along with six other victims of the attack. They have been named as Christopher & Sharon Bell, Scott Chalkley, Sue Davey and Angie & Ray Fisher.

So far, 25 of the 30 British victims have been returned to the UK.

The first of the inquests has moreover been opened, with West London coroner Chinyere Inyama adjourning the first – that of Stephen Mellor, 59, who died from gunshot wounds to the chest & abdomen as he tried to shield his wife Cheryl during the massacre.

Sky News reporter Richard Suchet says the UK counter-terror unit has identified 1,200 possible witnesses to the attack who have returned home. Almost 300 of them have already been spoken to.

More inquests will be opened during the weekend.

Source: “Sky News”