The United Kingdom is to hold a minute of silence to remember the victims of the Friday assault on a Tunisian beach in Sousse. The attack was carried out near the Imperial Marhaba and Bellevue hotels by a 23-year-old engineering student, Seidefeddine Rezgui. Hakim Rezgui, the gunman’s father, said that he was “so ashamed by what his son did” and that he had “no idea” who influenced him.
The attack claimed the lives of 38 people, most of whom were British citizens. The minute of silence will take place on Friday at noon BST. Although the official UK death toll is still 18, unofficial numbers already suggest that 30 or more Britons were victims. British Prime Minister, David Cameron, described the attack as “brutal and sickening” and confirmed that the perpetrator was thought to have been affiliated with the Islamic State. Mr. Cameron further commented that this was not the “war between Islam and the West, which [is what] ISIL wants people to believe,” adding that “It is a generational struggle between a minority of extremists, who want hatred to flourish and the rest of us who want freedom to prosper. And together, we will prevail.”
London is now getting ready for an eventual terrorist attack on the British soil, which is why the Prime Minister announced that there would be a major training in the capital this week to assess the country’s preparedness for such an eventuality. The training was initially prepared following the attacks at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The assault in Tunisia is already now the biggest loss of life for the UK since the 2005 London bombings – also known as 7/7 – in which 56 were killed.
Tunisia also yesterday (29 June) arrested a group of people thought to be responsible for the attack. Mohamed Gharsalli, Tunisian Interior Minister, said that the government “has started by arresting a first group, a significant number of people, from the network that was behind this terrorist criminal”. The country has also deployed 1,000 troops to protect tourist resorts.