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  1. National

Tunisia attack: Families to sue tour operator TUI

Some of the relatives of the victims of the Sousse terror attack in Tunisia have said they will sue tour operator TUI, after a coroner ruled all 30 Britons were "unlawfully killed".

The announcement came after coroner Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith rejected calls from some relatives to rule that neglect by travel firm TUI or the owners of the Rui Imperial Merhaba Hotel in Sousse played a role in the deaths.

Some of the families believe TUI failed to ensure adequate security at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel where the attack took place.

Lawyer for the families Kylie Hutchinson read a statement on behalf of the families outside of the Royal Courts of Justice in London: "It is now crucial that the whole travel industry learns from what happened in Sousse to reduce the risk of similar catastrophic incidents in the future.

"On behalf of our clients who lost members of their family and those who suffered injuries in this terrible incident, we will now be preparing to commence civil proceedings against TUI.

"During the past seven weeks, both the coroner and the families we represent heard shocking evidence about the level of security precautions at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel at the time of the terrorist attack.

"The level of terrorist threat in Tunisia had been escalating for some time prior to June 2015.

"This includes the failed suicide bomb attack at a beach in Sousse.

"Then, following the terrifying events at the Bardo Museum in March 2015, the Tunisian minister of tourism issued a letter requiring all hotels to improve security measures.

"Tragically these steps were not implemented at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel."

She said tour operator TUI had said it was "unaware" of the letter.

The families praised the work of the coroner who they said had been "fair and thorough" and ensured the families came first.

  1. National

Tunisia attack inquest: 30 Britons 'unlawfully killed'

The 30 British victims of the Sousse terror attack. Credit: ITV News

All 30 British victims of the 2015 Tunisia terror attacker were "unlawfully killed", the coroner has said.

Coroner Nicholas Loraine-Smith rejected calls from lawyers for some of the victim's relatives to rule "neglect" by travel firm TUI or the hotel owners played a role in their killing.

He said the law on neglect did not, in his view, apply to tourists who voluntarily went abroad and that better planning and actions by hotel staff may not have prevented the atrocity in which 38 people were killed by radicalised Islamic extremist Seifeddine Rezgui.

In his summary, the coroner referred to the response of police and military, including an officer who "fainted through terror and panic" and a guard who took off his shirt to hide the fact he was an officer.

"They had everything they required to confront the gunman and could have been at the scene within minutes," he said.

"The delay was deliberate and unjustifiable."

Judge to deliver conclusions at Tunisia inquest

The families of the British victims of the Tunisia terror attack are expected to gather today, to hear the final chapter of the inquest into their deaths.

Credit: Gwent Police

Trudy Jones, from Blackwood, was among the 30 Britons killed when extremist Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire in Sousse in June 2015, shooting 38 people dead.

The inquest into the deaths of his British victims at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel began at the Royal Courts of Justice last month.

Andrew Ritchie QC, counsel to the families of the victims, said last week that Judge Loraine-Smith, who is sitting as coroner, should consider a "neglect" conclusion, arguing that there had been "gross neglect" on the part of the TUI travel company.

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