Inquests told of Tunisia massacre

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Published: Sunday 5th July 2015 by The News Editor

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More inquests are expected to be formally opened today into the deaths of British tourists killed in the Tunisia terror attack.

West London Coroner’s Court has heard details of the beach massacre as inquests into the deaths of 12 of the 30 British victims were opened, eight on Friday and four yesterday.

The final five bodies of the murdered Britons – Lisa Burbidge, Stuart Cullen, Christopher Dyer, Bruce Wilkinson and Claire Windass – arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire in an RAF C-17 aircraft.

Tunisia’s president has declared a state of emergency in the wake of the attack that shocked the north African country nine days ago.

Yesterday’s inquest heard William Graham, 51, died from gunshot wounds to his pelvis while his wife Lisa, 50, died from gunshot wounds to her chest.

James and Ann McQuire, aged 66 and 63, were both fatally shot in the chest, the coroner was told.

Their bodies were repatriated to London for post-mortem examinations to be carried out and will now be taken to Scotland, at the families’ request. They were all formally identified by their dental records.

Chinyere Inyama, senior coroner for west London, said the victims’ bodies would be released to their families and authorised transportation to Scotland.

“I’m going to suspend the investigation pending completion of parallel investigations in both Tunisia and the UK,” he said.

The inquests have been adjourned for a date to be set.

In all, 38 people were killed by Seifeddine Rezgui when he opened fire in the resort of Sousse at around 11.15am on Friday June 26.

Detective Sergeant David Batt of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command told the inquest the shootings lasted around 30 minutes.

“Tourists were indiscriminately targeted by the gunman,” he said in a statement read during the hearings.

“The gunman was shot by security services.”

The bodies of the victims were moved to the central mortuary in Tunis after they were killed, he added.

“Senior UK police identification managers have assisted in Tunisia and in the UK to oversee the identification process,” he said.

Mr Batt said 275 witness accounts had been taken by police so far, and more than 1,200 potential witnesses have returned to the UK.

“Accounts are being taken from those who are deemed significant,” he added.

Police were patrolling the streets around the coroner’s court and a large number of officers guarded a fenced-off area surrounding a white tent close to the building.

Flowers and cards were piled on the pavement nearby.

On Friday the Queen and the Prime Minister joined millions of people across the country in a minute’s silence in tribute to those killed.

Published: Sunday 5th July 2015 by The News Editor

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