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Tunisian security 'delayed their arrival' at attack hotel

Local investigators criticised police for a slow response to the killing in front of the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel. Credit: PA

Tunisian police "deliberately and unjustifiably" delayed their arrival to the scene of the Sousse terrorist attack in which 30 Britons were killed, the inquest into the June 2015 massacre has heard.

Samantha Leek QC, counsel to the inquest, said a report by Tunisian Judge Akremi had identified failings by local units that could have ended the slaughter earlier.

Police arrived and shot extremist Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi dead after he had claimed the lives of 38 tourists on the beach outside the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel.

The hearing packed with relatives of the victims at the Royal Courts of Justice in London heard an unnamed interior minister had told the judge some Tunisian security officers stalled on purpose.

He said the units that should have intervened in the events deliberately and unjustifiably slowed down to delay their arrival at the hotel.

They had the ability to put an end to the attack before the police arrived but wasted a considerable amount of time in getting to the hotel.

– Samantha Leek QC, counsel to the inquest

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Relatives arrive for 'answers' over Tunisia beach massacre

The grieving family of attack victims Janet and John Stocker have said they are 'looking for answers' at the inquest. Credit: PA

The families of 30 British tourists killed in 2015's terrorist attack on a beach in Tunisia have arrived at London's Royal Courts of Justice for the inquest into their deaths.

The inquest will attempt to determine how much the UK government and travel firms knew about the risk of an attack on tourists holidaying in the area.

Some 38 people were killed when Islamist gunman Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire in the popular resort of Port El Kantaoui, Sousse, in June 2015.

The terrorist attack in Sousse remains the deadliest on British citizens since the July 7 London bombings in 2005. Credit: PA

Inquests into Tunisia beach attack deaths

Lisa Burbidge from Gateshead was among the thirty Britons who died Credit: Family photograph

Inquests are due to begin today into the deaths of thirty British tourists in Tunisia, including a woman from Gateshead.

Lisa Burbidge was killed in the beach attack near Sousse in June 2015, when a gunman opened fire.

The 66-year-old grandmother of four lived in Whickham. Her death prompted an outpouring of grief and sympathy within her community.

The inquests of those who died will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Lawyers representing relatives of the victims say they want to know whether more could have been done to protect their loved ones.

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