Tunisia attack: UK death toll from beach massacre confirmed as 30

The Government is encouraging schools and local authorities to observe a minute's silence on 3 July

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The Independent Online

The bodies of nine victims of the Tunisian beach massacre were returned to the UK yesterday, as the final British death toll was confirmed at 30.

The coffins carrying the remains of Lisa and William Graham, Philip Heathcote, Trudy Jones, Ann and James McQuire, Janet and John Stocker, and David Thompson were loaded into hearses in a sombre ceremony at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

Military personnel unloaded the coffins, which were topped with floral arrangements, and slowly carried them from the RAF C-17 transport plane used to bring them back from Tunisia into the waiting hearses.

The task, performed by members of the RAF Regiment’s Queen’s Colour Squadron, was witnessed by relatives of the dead who were present at the airbase.

Eight Britons killed in the terror attack were brought back to Britain on 1 July, and further flights are expected on 3 and 4 July.

 

British nationals made up the majority of the 38 killed by gunman Seifeddine Rezgui when he opened fire on holidaymakers on a beach in the resort of Sousse on 26 June – along with three Irish nationals, two Germans, one Belgian, one Portuguese and one Russian. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “We now have all 30 British victims positively identified and we can say with a high degree of confidence that is now the final death toll of British nationals killed in this incident.”

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will take part in a minute’s silence on 3 July in memory of the victims.

Flags will be flown at half-mast throughout the day over Downing Street and other Government buildings, as well as police stations across the country and military bases and embassies around the world. At royal palaces including Buckingham Palace, the Union flag will fly at half mast.

The start of play at Wimbledon will be delayed by 45 minutes to 12.15pm on outer courts, to allow tennis players and fans and tournament staff to observe the silence. And the scheduled race at Henley Regatta is being put back until after the silence is over.

The Government is encouraging schools and local authorities to observe the silence, which will mark exactly a week since the tragedy.

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