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Thursday 29 September 2016

'Terror Friday' - Dozens killed in three attacks around the world

*Irishwoman shot in Tunisia attack
*37 tourists killed in popular resort
*Man decapitated and two injured in France
*Suicide bomber kills at least 10 in Kuwait
*Day dubbed 'Terror Friday' on social media
*DFA open Consular Support Line

Published 26/06/2015 | 14:40

Crowds surround the Imam Sadiq Mosque after a bomb explosion following Friday prayers, in the Al Sawaber area of Kuwait City June 26, 2015. REUTERS/Jassim Mohammed
Crowds surround the Imam Sadiq Mosque after a bomb explosion following Friday prayers, in the Al Sawaber area of Kuwait City June 26, 2015. REUTERS/Jassim Mohammed

At least 38 people were killed and several injured following a day of terror attacks and fear across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

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On a day that is being dubbed 'Terror Friday' on social media, 37 holidaymakers were shot dead on a beach at a holiday resort in Tunisia, at least 10 people were killed in a suicide attack in Kuwait and one man was decapitated and several injured at an attack on a factory in south-east France.

Sousse, on the east coast of Tunisia (Photo: Google Maps)
Sousse, on the east coast of Tunisia (Photo: Google Maps)

An Irishwoman is understood to have been shot in the terror attack at one of Tunisia’s most popular resorts.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told Independent.ie they have opened their Consular Support Line if anybody concerned has relatives in the areas (01 408 2000).

A file picture taken on October 31, 2013, shows tourists enjoying the beach near a four-star hotel in the resort town of Sousse, a popular tourist destination 140 kilometres (90 miles) south of the Tunisian capital. AFP PHOTO / BECHIR BETTAIEBBECHIR BETTAIEB/AFP/Getty Images
A file picture taken on October 31, 2013, shows tourists enjoying the beach near a four-star hotel in the resort town of Sousse, a popular tourist destination 140 kilometres (90 miles) south of the Tunisian capital. AFP PHOTO / BECHIR BETTAIEBBECHIR BETTAIEB/AFP/Getty Images

They said they are advising Irish citizens in Tunisia to 'follow the instructions of the police, tour operators, and their hotel staff'.

"Given the number of Irish holiday makers in Tunisia we have opened a dedicated consular support line as a precautionary measure," a spokesperson told Independent.ie.

Terror group 'Islamic State' have claimed responsibility for the attacks in France and Kuwait, but a motive for the Tunisian shooting is still unknown.

Tunisian officials are currently reporting the deaths of 37 holidaymakers of six different nationalities after the shooting on a beach in the popular tourist area of Sousse.

A French Gendarme blocks the access road to the Saint-Quentin-Fallavier industrial area, near Lyon, France
A French Gendarme blocks the access road to the Saint-Quentin-Fallavier industrial area, near Lyon, France
French Gendarmes stand guard next to a black plastic sheet outside a gas company site at the industrial area of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon
A French Gendarme blocks the access road to the Saint-Quentin-Fallavier industrial area, near Lyon, France
A French Gendarme stands guard next to a black plastic sheet outside a gas company site at the industrial area of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon
French Gendarmes and rescue forces stand next to a black plastic sheet (R) outside a gas company site at the industrial area of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon
French Gendarmes and rescue forces stand near a black plastic sheet (R) outside a gas company site at the industrial area of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, outside Lyon
French Gendarmes block the access road to the industrial area of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, outside Lyon
French Gendarmes stand guard next to a black plastic sheet outside a gas company site at the industrial area of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon, France
The scene at the factory in Grenoble, France (Photo: Twitter/Infosensible)
The factory where the attack took place, according to Twitter/Infosensible

It is also being reported that a gunman has been killed after fire exchange with officers. Another gunman was arrested at the scene.

The attack is believed to have occurred between Hotel Bellevue and the Royal Kenzo Hotel. 

Grenoble, in the south-east of France (Photo: Google Maps)
Grenoble, in the south-east of France (Photo: Google Maps)

The resort is particularly popular with Irish and British tourists.

There are reports of a Jetairfly flight 5017 who returned to Brussels while en route to Tunisia, following news of the attacks, according to official social media account 'Flight Radar' that tracks flights. 

Read more: At least 27 dead, six injured after attack at Tunisia tourist destination - official

A man at the scene told Sky News that tourists on the beach saw a gunman on the beach before they heard gunshots and everybody started 'running in and screaming'.

Tourists reported to be locked into their hotel rooms after the attack and were not sure of the emergency process.

Irishwoman Elizabeth O'Brien is holidaying in the area with her two sons. She was not injured and ran from the scene with her two sons.

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

Speaking to RTE Radio One's News At One, she said she initially thought it was fireworks: “I just heard rapid firing, I thought it was fireworks, it sounds like gunfire.

“I ran to the sea and grabbed my kids and our things and, as I was running towards the hotel, the security on the beach started shouting ‘Run, run’.

Crowds surround the Imam Sadiq Mosque after a bomb explosion following Friday prayers, in the Al Sawaber area of Kuwait City June 26, 2015. REUTERS/Jassim Mohammed
Crowds surround the Imam Sadiq Mosque after a bomb explosion following Friday prayers, in the Al Sawaber area of Kuwait City June 26, 2015. REUTERS/Jassim Mohammed
Police cordon off the Imam Sadiq Mosque after a bomb explosion following Friday prayers, in the Al Sawaber area of Kuwait City June 26, 2015. REUTERS/Jassim Mohammed

“We ran to our room and now we are trapped in our room, the phone here doesn’t work to contact reception . The consul said there was a terrorist attack in the hotel next door, he told me to stay put, my travel agent said to go to the reception to speak to the rep , but I’m afraid so I’m stuck here in the room with my two sons.

“The agent said the attack was isolated to the hotel next door. The consul told me it was a terror attack.

“I just ran as soon as I heard the noise , I just thought of the museum incident a few months ago.”

At least sixty Irish people travelled to Tunisia with one travel company this week.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told Independent.ie they have issued an 'Urgent Travel Alert'.

Earlier in France, a decapitated body covered in Arabic writing was found at a U.S. gas company in the southeast of the country, police sources and French media said, after an assailant rammed a car into the premises, triggering an explosion.

Read more: Man decapitated at gas factory in France 'by attacker with Islamist black flag'

The attacker survived the blast and was arrested. The identity of the beheaded victim was not clear but French media said it was a manager of a local transport company, on the site for a delivery.

Speaking from a European Union summit in Brussels, French President Francois Hollande described it as a terrorist attack and said all measures would be taken to stop any future strikes on a country still reeling from Islamist assaults in January.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said one suspect, named as Yassin Sahli, had been arrested, and police were holding other suspected accomplices. He said Sahli did not have a criminal record but had been under surveillance from 2006 to 2008 on suspicion of having become radicalised.

"Two individuals deliberately rammed a car into the gas containers to trigger an explosion," a police source said of the attack in an industrial zone by the town of Saint-Quentin Fallavier, 30 km (20 miles) southeast of Lyon.

However the number of assailants was thrown into doubt, with Hollande saying it could have been either one or two.

Police sources earlier said the decapitated body was found at the site, along with a flag bearing Islamist inscriptions.

Local newspaper Le Dauphine said the head covered in Arabic writing was found on a fence.

The French public prosecutor said its anti-terrorist section had been deployed to investigate.

Meanwhile in Kuwait, at least 10 people were killed in a suicide attack on a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Kuwait City, the governor of Kuwait City Thabet al-Muhanna said.

Read more: At least 10 killed in Kuwait mosque attack - official

Speaking by telephone from Kuwait, Muhanna told Reuters that several more people were in critical condition. A witness said the bombing happened when the mosque was packed with some 2,000 worshippers during Friday prayers

Militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, according a statement posted on social media.

The statement identified the bomber as Abu Suleiman al-Muwahed and said the target was a "temple of the rejectionists" - a term used by the Islamist militant group to refer to Shi'ite Muslims - and said dozens were killed or wounded.

*Anyone with concerns about family or friends can call the Department on 01 408 2000*

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