Sombre South Shields beach tribute to victims of Tunisian terror tragedy

Beach goers and lifeguards at Sandhaven beach in South Shields took time out from the hot weather to observe a minutes silence for the victim of the Tunisia attacks last week''3 July 2015
Beach goers and lifeguards at Sandhaven beach in South Shields took time out from the hot weather to observe a minutes silence for the victim of the Tunisia attacks last week''3 July 2015

South Tyneside fell silent yesterday to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Tunisian terror attack.

A total of 38 people - including 30 British tourists - were killed on Friday, June 26 when a gunman armed with a Kalashnikov rifle opened fire on guests at a busy beach resort in Sousse.

Leanne Jones who took part with her son Sonny was moved to tears by the minutes silence'Beach goers and lifeguards at Sandhaven beach in South Shields took time out from the hot weather to observe a minutes silence for the victim of the Tunisia attacks last week''3 July 2015

Leanne Jones who took part with her son Sonny was moved to tears by the minutes silence'Beach goers and lifeguards at Sandhaven beach in South Shields took time out from the hot weather to observe a minutes silence for the victim of the Tunisia attacks last week''3 July 2015

Sun-seekers and lifeguards at Sandhaven beach, South Shields, lined up with heads bowed to observe a sombre minute’s silence on the sand yesterday.

On a day were scores of families were enjoying a break in soaring temperatures, they reflected on a tragedy at another beach spot thousands of miles away.

Leanne Jones, who took part in the tribute with her son Sonny, was moved to tears by the minutes silence

Workers at all council buildings in the borough also took time out for the period of remembrance as the clock struck noon.

The UK police service is continually reviewing security to help ensure people and places are as safe as possible

Asst Commissioner Mark Rowley, national police lead on terrorism

The Union Flag was flown at half-mast at South Shields Town Hall in honour of lives cruelly cut short.

Across the country, flags were also flown at half-mast over Whitehall and Buckingham Palace and play at Wimbledon was also delayed.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh joined staff at the University of Strathclyde for the silence while Prime Minister David Cameron took part in a ceremony in Witney, Oxfordshire.

Tunisian prime minister Habib Essid joined the UK’s ambassador to the country, Hamish Cowell, at a memorial event on the beach in Sousse.

half mast flag at South Shields Town Hall for national minute's silence for Sousse shooting victims

half mast flag at South Shields Town Hall for national minute's silence for Sousse shooting victims

The bodies of 17 of the British victims have now been returned to the UK and the first inquests have opened at West London Coroner’s Court, with further inquests expected over the weekend.

Thomson and First Choice said all those killed had been their customers.

Holiday firms scrambled extra flights on top of scheduled services for people seeking to flee back to Britain since the slaughter in Sousse. It is believed that killer Seifeddine Rezgui - who was shot dead by police - had accomplices who helped him to carry out the atrocity.

The Tunisian government has made a number of arrests as investigations into the attack continue.

Specialist advisers have been deployed to Tunisia by the National Policing Counter Terrorism Headquarters to assist the Foreign Office and Tunisian authorities in reviewing security at other tourist resorts and attractions.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the national policing lead for counter terrorism, said: “With the threat level to the UK from international terrorism remaining at severe, the UK police service is continually reviewing security to help ensure people and places are as safe as possible.”