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Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 12°C
# tunisia
This is the man the Islamic State claims was responsible for Tunisia attack
In a statement, the terrorist group said it had targeted ‘dens of fornication, vice and apostasy’.

Updated 13.45

THE ISLAMIC STATE group has claimed that a 23-year-old engineering student was responsible for yesterday’s attack in Tunisia.

A picture of the man, identified as Seifeddine Rezgui, has been circulating on Islamic State group social media this morning.

The group earlier claimed responsibility for the massacre in the Tunisian seaside resort that killed nearly 40 people, including an Irish mother-of-two yesterday.

In total, 38 people were killed – mostly British citizens. Germans, Belgians and French were also among the dead. The gun attack comes on the same day that 27 people were killed at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and a suspected Islamic terrorist attacked a factory in France.

Irishwoman Lorna Carty, a nurse from Robinstown, Co Meath, was on holiday in the resort town of Sousse with her husband and was killed in the attack when a gunman opened fire on sunbathers who were lounging on the beach at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel.

Speaking to Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane show this morning, an Irish survivor of the attack, Marian King, described hiding in a hotel room during the attack.

“We thought at that point, because somebody had said that there was gun, we thought that the man, or men, were in the corridor and we didn’t know if they were going to come into the rooms. And that was absolutely terrifying,” she said.

In a statement released on Twitter late last night, the terrorist group said the gunman was a “solider of the caliphate” who had targeted enemies of IS and “dens… of vice” in Port el Kantaoui.

Most of those killed were “subjects of states that make up the crusader alliance fighting the state of the caliphate”, the group said.

The attack targeted “dens (of…) fornication, vice and apostasy in the city of Sousse” and was carried out “despite (security) measures strengthened around these dens on Kantaoui beach,” it added.

Tunisia Attack PA The scene outside the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel yesterday. PA

Tunisian Secretary of State for Security Rafik Chelly told Mosaique FM the gunman was a Tunisian student previously unknown to the authorities.

“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,” Chelly said.

A further 36 people now remain in hospital with up to eight believed to be in a critical condition.

Yesterday Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said he could not exclude further Irish injuries or fatalities.

His department updated its travel advice to “exercise extreme caution”. At least 60 Irish tourists were reported to be in Sousse at the time of the attack but tour operators scrambled to put them on flights home and many returned overnight.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said yesterday there is a risk of further attacks, which could target tourists.

First published at 7.35am 

- With reporting from AFP and Michael Sheils Mcnamee. 

Read: Irish woman killed in Tunisia named as Meath mother of two>

Read: An Irish woman is among the dead in the Tunisian resort terror attack>

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