British tourists thought to be among those caught up in trio of terrorist attacks today
- Credit: AP
An emergency meeting of the UK Government’s Cobra committee was held today following three terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.
At around midday terrorist attacks were launched on two hotels in the Tunisian resort of Sousse, with British tourists feared to be among the 27 confirmed dead.
Tunisian interior ministry spokesman Ali Aroui described the victims as mostly tourists but did not give any nationalities.
Local radio reports said those killed in the resort of Sousse were mostly German and British.
One of the two beachside hotels involved is the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba, in the Port El Kantaoui neighbourhood of Sousse, Tunisian officials confirmed.
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Travel company Tui, which owns tour operators Thomson and First Choice, today ordered a plane travelling to Tunisia to turn back in light of the attacks.
It tweeted: “JAF5017 is turning back to Belgium due to current terrorist attack in Tunisia.”
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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy confirmed the hotel is owned by a Spanish company, RIU Hotels & Resorts, which has more than 100 hotels in 19 countries.
It followed an attack on a gas factory in Grenoble, south east France, at around 9am this morning, in which a man was decapitated. Banners written in Arabic were found at the scene.
French officials said two men in a car had earlier crashed into the factory site and ploughed into gas canisters, sparking an explosion, at around 10am local time.
Two other people were injured in the incident which president Hollande described as having “all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack”.
One of the suspected attackers - a 30-year-old man - has been arrested after he was detained by a firefighter.
French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the suspect had been under investigation for possible ties to Islamic extremists in 2006, but surveillance was dropped in 2008.
A number of other people are in custody, he added.
Shortly after midday, an explosion struck a Shiite mosque in the Kuwaiti capital. A posting on a Twitter account known to belong to the Islamic State group said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt.
At least 16 people have been killed, and eyewitnesses described seeing at least 10 bodies after the explosion, which took place just after midday Friday prayers, typically the most crowded of the week, especially during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan which started last week.
Mr Cameron said: “I am sickened by the attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait. Our countries stand together in combatting the horrors of terrorism.”
Speaking at the end of the Brussels summit, he said: “This is a threat that faces all of us. These events have taken place today in Tunisia and in France but they can happen anywhere.”
The attacks have fallen on the Muslim holy day.