The first bodies of some of the British tourists shot dead in the Tunisia beach attack have arrived back in the UK.
Eight coffins were flown from Tunis to Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on an RAF C17 and taken off the plane one by one.The bodies on the flight, which arrived at 15:00 BST, were those of relatives Adrian Evans, Charles (known as Patrick) Evans and Joel Richards, as well as Carly Lovett, Stephen Mellor, John Stollery, Denis Thwaites and Elaine Thwaites As the plane landed, a statement was released on behalf of Suzanne Richards for the Evans and Richards families, which said: “We are a very small and normal family, but nothing will ever be normal again.
“My son Joel, dad Pat and brother Adrian were our rocks and we are all heartbroken and devastated and will never get over losing them.”
Eight hearses left Brize Norton in convoy on Wednesday evening bound for West London where the bodies will be handed over to the coroner.The chief coroner for England and Wales, Judge Peter Thornton QC, said there would be “one investigation and one inquest for each deceased, although, in view of the circumstances of the killings, the inquests are likely to be held together”.
Downing Street has ruled out an inquiry into the attack, but said Scotland Yard would assist the Tunisian investigation.
A minute’s silence will be observed across the country at noon on Friday in memory of the victims, and matches at Wimbledon will start later so players, spectators and staff can take part.Tunisian authorities have arrested several people on suspicion of helping gunman Seifeddine Rezgui and at least two other suspects are wanted by police.
The 23-year-old student, who had links to the Islamic State jihadist group, was shot dead by police after the killings on the beach in Sousse last Friday.
Security sources say he is thought to have been trained in Libya at the same time as two men behind the Bardo museum attack in Tunis that left 22 people dead in March.
Tunisia’s interior ministry spokesman, Mohamed Ali Laroui, said preliminary investigations indicated that all the bullets recovered from the dead and injured had come from the same weapon, suggesting only one gunman had been involved.


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