Advertisement
News by VICE

Video Emerges of Chase of Tunisia Beach Attack Gunman

Video has emerged showing the aftermath of the attack, meanwhile authorities revealed that the gunman attended jihadi training camp in Libya at the same time as the National Bardo Museum assailants.

by VICE News
Jun 30 2015, 9:25pm

Imagen vía Reuters

Video posted online by an anonymous resident of the Tunisian seaside resort town of Sousse, where 39 people died last week after a gunman opened fire at an area hotel, shows intense footage in the aftermath of the attack in which the gunman is chased along the shoreline.

Gunshots can be heard in the beginning of the video as hotel guests and locals alike are seen running away from the outdoor area at Hotel Imperial Marhaba on June 26. Later the cameraman follows the gunman, Seifeddine Rezgui, through a grassy area outside the hotel and onto the waterfront beach.

Dead bodies can be seen throughout the video, and the footage shows Rezgui holding a Kalashnikov rifle in the air as the person filming follows him. After Rezgui made his way onto the street he was shot and killed by police.

The person who uploaded the video wishes to remain anonymous. 

On Tuesday, Tunisian security officials said Rezgui attended a jihadi training camp in western Libya at the same time as the two gunmen who carried out the National Bardo Museum attack in March.

"It has been confirmed that the attacker trained in Libya with weapons at the same period as the Bardo attackers," Rafik Chelli, the secretary of state for the Interior Ministry, told the Associated Press. "He crossed the borders secretly."

According to Chelli, 24-year-old Rezgui abandoned his masters studies at Kairouan University before heading across the border in January to Sabratha, Libya. This is a change from earlier statements from authorities saying that Rezgui had never left the country.

This news comes as concerns mount over the so-called Islamic State's presence in Libya, and the threat the group may pose to Tunisia's security. The militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in Sousse, and around 3,000 Tunisians have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with groups there, often after training in Libya.

Following the Sousse beach attack, many critics claimed the government handled the security situation in the country poorly, particularly in respect to the targeting of tourists. Speaking to Europe 1 radio on Tuesday, President Beji Caid Essebsi said the government had planned to boost security measures — changes which were set to go into effect on Wednesday.

"It is not a perfect system — it is true we were surprised by this affair," Essebsi said. "They took measures for the month of Ramadan but they never thought the attack would be on the beaches against tourists and the system of protection was set to start July 1."

Essebsi also told the media outlet that officials were investigating security failures, while announcing plans to post armed tourist police at the beach. The president cited the need for international help in securing its borders with Libya. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tagged:
africa
VICE News
beach
war and conflict
Tunisia
gunman
Sousse
Seifeddine Rezgui
national bardo museum
hotel imperial marhaba
president beji caid essebsi