British Tourists Return Home After Tunisia Bombings
LONDON (AP) _ Hundreds of British tourists flew home today from Tunisia after bombs exploded at four resort hotels in the North African nation, injuring five Britons, seven Italians and a Tunisian.
″It was frightening. I will never go back there again,″ said Jane Gibson, 19, who cut short her vacation after Sunday night’s bombings in Monastir and Sousse.
Two chartered jetliners brought home about 235 Britons early today, according to the Thomson Holidays travel agency.
However, the bombings have not deterred all Britons from visiting Tunisia. More than 130 people departed for Tunisia today on a charter flight for which only two people did not show up, the travel agency said.
″We have 1,000 holidaymakers still out in Tunisia,″ said a Thomson official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ″They’ve decided to stay on. We now believe that all those who want to come home early have done so.″
The most seriously injured, Helen Strocki, 28, of Scotland, had a foot blown off in the explosion. ″She is quite stable and fairly comfortable″ at a Scottish hospital after being flown home, a hospital official in Scotland said.
The British Foreign Office advised travelers to ″exercise caution when they are out there (in Tunisia)″ and said it had sought assurances from Tunisia that security precautions would be taken at hotels.
In Britain, Tunisian Charge d’Affaires Mouldi Kefi said on TV-AM, a British commercial network, that ″everything will be done to prevent anything like this happening again.″
He speculated that Iranian Islamic fundamentalists were responsible for the blasts. There was no claim of responsibility for the bombings.
Tunisia broke diplomatic relations with Iran in March, saying the Iranian Embassy was being used to stir up trouble among Islamic fundamentalists in Tunisia. Moslem fundamentalists there have clashed with police recently.