England

Tunisia attack: Families claiming damages against TUI

Beach at Sousse in Tunisia Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Tributes were left at the beach in Sousse in Tunisia

Relatives of the British victims of the Tunisia terror attack are claiming damages against tour firm TUI, a lawyer representing the families has said.

A total of 38 people, including 30 Britons, were shot dead by a gunman in Sousse in June 2015.

About 80 people, including relatives and those injured, have instructed lawyers to commence civil proceedings, law firm Irwin Mitchell said.

TUI said it would fully cooperate with the judicial process.

On 26 June 2015, a gunman opened fire on holidaymakers staying in the popular resort of Port El Kantaoui, just north of Sousse in Tunisia, killing 30 British tourists and eight others.

So-called Islamic State (IS) said it was behind the attack by Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgui.

Kylie Hutchison, a solicitor for representing the families of 22 victims and more than 50 people who were injured, said damages would compensate for their suffering, financial losses and treatment to aid their recovery.

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

"This included a failed suicide bomb attempt outside a beach hotel in Sousse in October 2013 and an attack at the Bardo museum in Tunis in March 2015 in which 22 people were killed.

"Despite this, TUI, the tour operator who organised the holidays and was responsible for our clients' safety, did not audit the adequacy of security at the hotel or take appropriate precautions to keep our clients safe from an attack."

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith ruled at the inquest, in February 2017, that the 30 Britons were unlawfully killed but rejected a finding of neglect against the tour firms and the hotel.

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Media captionCheryl Stollery's husband John, a former paratrooper from Nottinghamshire, was shot dead next to her

Mat James, 33, from Pontypridd, South Wales, was shot multiple times while protecting his girlfriend during the attack and has had many operations on his leg.

He said: "The horrible attack was obviously life-changing for so many people. Even now, a few years on, my injuries are still affecting me."

A TUI UK spokesman said: "We remain truly saddened by what happened on that fateful day in Sousse in June 2015 when 30 of our customers lost their lives in a terrorist attack which started on a public beach.

"Our thoughts remain with all of those who were affected by the horrific incident.

"As this is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage except to say we will fully cooperate with the judicial process."

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