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Book of condolence for Tunisia terror victims is opened at City Hall

By Lesley Houston

Published 01/07/2015

Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson signs the book of condolence for the victims of the massacre in Tunisia
Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson signs the book of condolence for the victims of the massacre in Tunisia

A book of condolence has opened at Belfast City Hall in memory of the victims of the Tunisian terrorist atrocity.

Lord Mayor Arder Carson was the first to sign the book, which wil allow the people of Northern Ireland to pay their respects to the 38 who died in the massacre in the resort of Sousse last Friday.

Around 30 of those killed were British and three were from the Republic.

The book, a gesture of sympathy and solidarity with the victims and their grieving families, will be open during regular city council business hours.

"I think it's appropriate that Belfast opens a book of condolence, because we are quite magnanimous as a city and we understand the loss of life and we're willing to show empathy and sympathy where people have lost loved ones," said the Lord Mayor.

Nick Longman, managing director of Thomson and First Choice, confirmed that 22 British people positively identified as victims were their customers.

He added: "This was a tragic incident and we are doing all we can to ease the suffering of the customers and staff in our care.

"We are devastated by this event and the tragic loss of life and the terrible pain this has caused to all involved."

The Foreign Secretary said last night that the spread of Islamic State (IS) into Libya helped sow the seeds for the Tunisia beach attack.

Philip Hammond's comments came as it was revealed that the gunman responsible for the massacre attended a terrorist training camp in Libya at the same time as the attackers who killed 22 people at the Bardo Museum in capital Tunis in March.

Authorities in Tunisia are quizzing seven suspected associates of Seifeddine Rezgui, the 23-year-old gunman.

They have said he acted alone during the rampage but accomplices supported him before, providing weapons and logistical support. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said an investigation was under way into security failures and there would be armed police on beaches.

The first RAF flight carrying the bodies of Britons killed in the Tunisian beach massacre will arrive at Brize Norton today.

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