Monday 5 December 2016

Tunisia: 1,000 armed police to patrol beaches used by tourists

Ben Farmer

Published 30/06/2015 | 02:30

A hooded Tunisian police officer stands guard ahead of the visit of top security officials of Britain, France, Germany and Belgium at the scene of Friday’s shooting attack in front of the Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisa
A hooded Tunisian police officer stands guard ahead of the visit of top security officials of Britain, France, Germany and Belgium at the scene of Friday’s shooting attack in front of the Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisa

A thousand armed police officers will patrol Tunisian beaches used by foreign tourists, it was announced yesterday.

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Najem Gharsalli, Tunisia's interior minister, who announced the deployment of extra security measures, said armed police would also be stationed inside hotels if they were requested.

In an attempt to reassure those tourists who are still there, and those who have holidays booked, Mr Gharsalli announced a raft of extra security measures.

He said: "The first and the most important is the deployment of armed police in the beaches and in all the touristic units in Tunisian beaches.

"There will be 1,000 armed police who will do that operation. There will be armed security inside the hotels if the owner expressed his desire for that."

He said the armed police officers would be assisted by military reservists.

Read more: Tunisia Attack: What should holidaymakers do now?

He was speaking after visiting the scene of Friday's atrocity with Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May, who said the murder of 38 holidaymakers was "a despicable act of cruelty".

An RAF C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft, specially modified to carry extra stretchers, took off from Tunisia last night carrying four critically-injured British victims of the attack.

Mrs May laid flowers at the rapidly-growing shrine to the dead on the beach near the Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse and promised Tunisia help in security, intelligence and police training.

"How could a place of such beauty, of relaxation and happiness, be turned into such a scene of brutality and destruction?" she said.

Britain's Home Secretary held talks with Tunisian, German, French and Belgian ministers on addressing the threat posed by Isil. She said: "We are very clear that the terrorists will not win. We will be united in working together to defeat them, but united also in working to defend our values."

Irish Independent

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