Saturday, June 27, 2015

Chilling new details of Tunisia beach massacre : Killer joked as he selected his victims

Tunisia beach massacre
 Two gunmen opened fire at a beachfront hotel packed with holiday makers yesterday killing 38 - with 36 seriously injured.

Culled from UK Daily Mail

'He was laughing and joking around, like a normal guy,' said one witness. 'He was choosing who to shoot. Some people, he was saying to them 'you go away'. He was choosing tourists, British, French.'
See more photos after the cut..

Tom Richards, a university graduate who was on holiday with his mother and younger brother, found himself face-to-face with a man with 'long black hair and a beard', between 20 to 25.

He and his mother Sam had fled from the pool when they heard the shots ring out, but were confronted with the Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist inside the hotel, where they were sheltering with other guests.

The gunman shot two people in the head, before turning his attention to Mr Richards. The 22-year-old told The Guardian: 'He looked right at me, I thought I was dead.'

But instead of shooting Mr Richards, he shot the floor - allowing Mr Richards and his mother, who were injured by shards of marble, to escape to a nearby toilet.

'I don’t know why he stopped. He could have killed everybody,' he said.

Many tourists barricaded themselves in their rooms after the 23-year-old student opened fire.

In another chilling account, Ibrahim el-Ghoul revealed how the killer had been smiling.

The trainee mechanic, who works part-time at hotel nearby, said the gunman told him 'I don't want to kill you; I want to hit tourists,' according to The Independent.

The terrorist after he was killed by police

Olivia Leathley, 24, a chef from Chorlton, Manchester, said she and her boyfriend escaped the massacre at the Imperial Marhaba hotel only because she was charging her phone.

'We then heard a shot from inside the hotel. Somebody just shouted 'run' so we sprinted off in all directions,' she said. 'The machine gun fire was so close, it sounded like it was right behind us.

'I was then on the phone to my dad, screaming at the top of my lungs and telling him 'I love you, I love you'.

'My dad Glenn was saying 'I love you' and shouting prayers down the phone, begging 'Lord, protect them'. We eventually found an office building and hid in a room. As soon as I got somewhere safe, I threw up.

'I later came across a woman who said her husband had been shot in the stomach on the beach. He was bleeding heavily, but she had to leave him there.'

A hotel worker said a shoeless Yacoubi, who arrived on the beach by inflatable boat, had tried to blend in with the crowd. He added: 'He opened fire with a Kalashnikov. He was a young guy dressed in shorts – like he was a tourist himself.'

Rafik Chelli, Tunisia's secretary of state for national security, said the gunman – named locally as Yacoubi – entered the Marhaba complex through the pool area.

'He entered by the beach, dressed like someone who was going to swim, and he had a beach umbrella with his gun in it. Then when he came to the beach he used his weapon,' Mr Chelli said. Yacoubi was shot dead by the security forces.

Because of the Ramadan religious period, there were few Tunisians on the beach and few children because most schools have yet to break up.

Houcine Jenayah, a businessman, said the gunman arrived at speed on an inflatable Zodiac boat.

'He opened fire and had grenades with him,' said Mr Jenayah. 'He hid his Kalashnikov behind a parasol that he had in his hand.'

Within minutes of the massacre, photographs had been posted on an Instagram account showing a middle-aged man wearing blue shorts lying face down in the sand with a pool of blood around his head.
Other bodies were covered with towels and marked with numbers.

A woman launches a furious attack on a man apparently arrested over the shootings

Father-of-three John Yeoman, 46, of Kettering, Northamptonshire, used a bed to barricade himself and his family in the room of his hotel. 'We were in the pool when we heard automatic gunfire. People ran past saying there was an armed man on the beach,' he said.

Tweeting a picture of his barricaded room, he added: 'Hope it's enough. It's been going on for 20 minutes. We blocked in our room. There are sounds of a gun battle.'

The final moments of the terrorist were captured on camera as, weapon in hand, he prowled the streets of Sousse. With the gunman dead, police pursued suspects through the streets of Sousse, which is about 90 miles south of the capital Tunis.

More than three hours after the massacre an apparent accomplice was arrested near the motorway.

Pictures showed him being punched in the face by a furious woman as he was marched through the town by armed police.

Police were pictured detaining several men in the aftermath of the carnage but it was not clear last night whether the suspects were connected to the attack.

While there were multiple accounts of what happened, most witnesses spoke of a lone gunman who was later shot dead by the Tunisian security forces.

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