Saturday 27 May 2017

ISIS release picture of alleged gunman responsible for Tunisia beach massacre

Presumed gunman of the massacre in the Tunisian seaside resort that killed nearly 40 people is identified as Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgui. AFP PHOTO //AFP/Getty Images
Presumed gunman of the massacre in the Tunisian seaside resort that killed nearly 40 people is identified as Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgui. AFP PHOTO //AFP/Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

ISIS social media accounts have this morning tweeted pictures of the alleged gunman behind the Tunisia beach resort massacre in which dozens were killed.

The man named Saifeddine Rezgui, a 23-year-old engineering student can be seen smiling in between two Kalashnikovs.

The tweet refers to him by a nom-de-guerre, Abu Yahya AlQuirawani. - Quirawan, or Kairouan being the town in central Tunisia he is from.

Tunisia's prime minister has said an initial investigation showed the gunman who killed at least 39 people at a beach resort was from a village in a poor central region of Tunisia and had never travelled abroad.

Lorna Carty, from Co Meath, who was killed in the terrorist attack on Sousse, Tunisia, where she was on holiday
Lorna Carty, from Co Meath, who was killed in the terrorist attack on Sousse, Tunisia, where she was on holiday

Read more: Irish mum among dozens gunned down in beach massacre

Habib Essid said that Seifeddine Rezgui, who was killed by police after the attack in Sousse, was not previously known by authorities.

Tunisia map
Tunisia map

He said he came from the town of Gaafour in the governorate of Siliana and had been a student at Kairouan university.

The Islamic State group has claimed credit for the attack, identifying the gunman by his jihadi pseudonym Abu Yahya al-Qayrawani, the SITE Intelligence Group has reported.

Read more: Community in shock at death of 'beautiful woman' Lorna

The attack was one of three from Europe to North Africa to the Middle East that followed a call to violence by IS extremists.

According to the prime minister, the victims included many Britons, as well as Germans, Belgian and French.

The attack was the worst ever in the country and came just months after the March 18 massacre at the national Bardo museum in Tunis that left 22 people dead, again mostly tourists.

It is expected to deal a heavy blow to the country's tourism industry, which accounts for nearly 15pc of Tunisia's gross domestic product.

Read more: Majority of those killed at Tunisia beach resort British - Tunisia prime minister

Police officers surround a man (centre) suspected to be involved in an attack on a beachside hotel in Sousse, Tunisia. Photo: Reuters
Police officers surround a man (centre) suspected to be involved in an attack on a beachside hotel in Sousse, Tunisia. Photo: Reuters

Belgian tourist Clause Besser has described from his hospital bed how he heard gunshots on the beach and tried to flee as a gunman killed at least 39 people.

Mr Besser recounted how he was hit by a bullet as he ran away from the beach in Sousse.

"It's really sad but what can you do, for everyone, for the tourists, for the people who died, for their families," he said.

"For me, somehow, with a bullet in the leg, it's not a catastrophe. For those who died or injured for life, it's something else," he added.

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