British Government Tells Citizens To Leave Tunesia Because Another Terrorist Attack Is "Highly Likely"
July 9, 2015
Britain Tells Tourists to Leave Tunisia Over Terror RiskLONDON — Jul 9, 2015, 3:09 PM ET By JILL LAWLESS Associated Press
The British government on Thursday told all U.K. tourists to leave Tunisia because a terrorist attack is "highly likely," saying the North African country's government has not done enough to enhance security.
The Foreign Office said it is advising against all but essential travel to the North African country. It said that British tourists in Tunisia should contact their travel agents, who will arrange flights to bring them home. Independent travelers were advised to return on scheduled commercial flights.
Thirty-eight tourists, 30 of them British, were killed on June 26 when a gunman stormed the Tunisian beach resort of Sousse. In March, 22 people died in an attack at the National Bardo Museum outside Tunis.
"While we do not have any information suggesting a specific or imminent threat, since the attack in Sousse the intelligence and threat picture has developed considerably leading us to the view that a further terrorist attack is highly likely," Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said...
Tunisia attack: UK tourists advised to leave country
All British nationals are being urged to leave Tunisia because "a further terrorist attack is highly likely", Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says.
Thirty Britons were among 38 tourists killed in an attack there last month.
The Foreign Office estimates 2,500 to 3,000 UK tourists are in Tunisia and a few hundred British residents.
It is advising against all non-essential travel to Tunisia, and some travel firms are repatriating their British staff.
'More work needed'
The FCO said that although the Tunisian authorities have put in place more security measures, these do not "provide adequate protection for British tourists".
It said in its updated advice that tour operators were arranging additional flights back to the UK.
Britons are urged to get in touch with their tour operators to plan their return, with those travelling independently advised to return on commercial flights.
Tunisia declared a state of emergency after the 26 June attack in the popular resort of Port El Kantaoui, just north of Sousse.
Witnesses described how the gunman, identified as Tunisian student Seifeddine Rezgui, opened fire at tourists on sunloungers outside the five-star Hotel Rui Imperial Marhaba.
Plans to build a wall along Tunisia's border with Libya to counter the threat from militants were announced earlier this week.
Mr Hammond said: "While we do not have any information suggesting a specific or imminent threat, since the attack in Sousse the intelligence and threat picture has developed considerably, leading us to the view that a further terrorist attack is highly likely."
He went on: "The Tunisian investigation into those behind the Sousse attack, and that on the Bardo Museum earlier this year, is on-going and the Tunisians have made clear they want to track down further individuals who they suspect may have links to this attack.
"Furthermore, we have now completed an assessment of the security measures in tourist areas and while we are working with the Tunisian authorities to further strengthen those measures, we judge that more work is needed to effectively protect tourists from the terrorist threat.
"Taking all these factors together, we judge that it is right and prudent to make this change today."
The Association of British Travel Agents said those due to travel to Tunisia should contact the company they booked through.
Travelling to Tunisia now would be likely to invalidate travel insurance policies, but most policies will provide cover for those currently in the country, it added.
A spokesman said: "Those with holidays booked within the next 48 hours to Tunisia are advised to contact your travel company to discuss available options. If you have booked a package you will be entitled to a refund or alternative holiday."
The association said that very low numbers of British tourists were currently in Tunisia, following the Sousse attack; 25,000 are usually expected at this time of year...