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UK pays a silent tribute to Tunisia beach massacre victims

By Staff Reporter

Northern Ireland has paid tribute to the victims of the Tunisia beach massacre with a minute's silence.

Shoppers and workers observed the UK-wide event across Belfast and a small crowd lit candles in St Anne's Cathedral.

Dean of Belfast Reverend John Mann, who led the short service, said: "This terrible event has shocked us all and brought such sorrow to the families affected."

Thirty Britons and three Irish people were among the 38 killed. Two of the Irish victims, Larry and Martina Hayes, were buried in Co Westmeath yesterday.

The Tall Ships Festival was put on hold to allow participants time to reflect.

The crew from the Brazilian Navy's Cisne Branco stood motionless on deck during the memorial, ending it with a salute.

The tributes came as it emerged the youngest victim of the attack, Joel Richards (19), died after being shot in the head alongside his grandfather Patrick Evans (78). Joe's uncle Adrian Evans (49) died of gunshot wounds to the neck, an inquest at West London Coroner's Court heard.

Joel's brother Owen (16) survived the attack, and he and his mother Suzanne observed the silence at Walsall Football Club, where they were joined by the squad, manager Dean Smith and hundreds of supporters.

The crowds at Wimbledon observed the memorial, as did the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the University of Strathclyde.

In Crawley, West Sussex, where victims John Stocker (74) and wife Janet (63) had roots and where relatives still live, the silence was observed impeccably.

Elsewhere, Tamworth fell silent to remember Sue Davey, who was killed along with her partner Scott Chalkley. Mosques across the UK also marked the occasion as Muslims paid tributes during the holy month of Ramadan.

And in Tunisia Prime Minister Habib Essid joined the UK's ambassador Hamish Cowell at a memorial on the beach in Sousse.

The bodies of 25 of the 30 British victims have been returned to the UK, with the final five returning today.

It is believed that the attacker Seifeddine Rezgui, who was shot dead by police after his killing spree, had accomplices who helped him carry it out.

The Tunisian Government said seven men and one woman were in custody suspected of having direct links to the massacre. Four others have been released.

According to Tunisian officials, the gunman trained at a Libyan jihadist camp at the same time as the two gunmen who attacked the Bardo museum in Tunis in March, killing 22 people.

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