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Families get Tunisia attack bodies

Published 04/07/2015

The repatriation process will be complete when the remaining five bodies return to UK soil
The repatriation process will be complete when the remaining five bodies return to UK soil

The bodies of four Scottish tourists killed in the Tunisia terror attack have been released to their families.

West London Coroner's Court heard details of the beach massacre today as inquests into the deaths of four of the 30 British victims were formally opened.

It came as the final five bodies of the murdered Britons arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire in an RAF C-17 aircraft this afternoon.

The coffins carrying Lisa Burbidge, Stuart Cullen, Christopher Dyer, Bruce Wilkinson and Claire Windass will be loaded on to hearses and taken in convoy to the same coroner's court.

Tunisia's president has declared a state of emergency in the wake of attack that shocked the north African country last week.

Today's inquest heard William Graham, 51, died from gunshot wounds to his pelvis while his wife Lisa Graham, 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 back to London for post-mortems 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 will 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. The first inquests into the deaths of the eight British victims were opened and adjourned yesterday.

Thirty Britons were among 38 victims 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 have 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.

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

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