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Islamist terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France...
Tunisia attack: David Cameron calls for fightback against intolerance as 30 Britons confirmed dead
The Prime Minister has called for the UK to be 'intolerant' of extremist Islam as more than 30 Britons confirmed to have died in Tunisian beach massacre
Prime Minister David Cameron Photo: Heathcliff O'Malley/The Telegraph
Britain must become “intolerant” of extremist Islam and “be stronger at standing up for our values” as it emerged that more than 30 Britons were killed in the Tunisian beach massacre.
Writing exclusively for The Telegraph, the Prime Minister said Britain is “united in shock and in grief” following the deaths of at least 38 tourists after a gun and grenade rampage by Isil militant Seifeddine Rezgui.
• David Cameron comment: We must be intolerant of Isil intolerance
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A police boat patrols off the beach at the Imperial Marhaba in Sousse, Tunisia (Warren Allott/The Telegraph)
Mr Cameron indicates that the Government is now preparing to take a far more hardline approach towards tackling extremism, as families across the country discover they have been affected by the worst terrorist atrocity to hit Britons in almost a decade.
In his article, the Prime Minister says that we can only defeat terrorism by promoting the British values of “peace, democracy, tolerance and freedom”.
“We must be stronger at standing up for our values – of peace, democracy, tolerance, freedom,” he says.
“We must be more intolerant of intolerance – rejecting anyone whose views condone the Islamist extremist narrative and create the conditions for it to flourish. We must strengthen our institutions that put our values into practice: our democracy, our rule of law, the rights of minorities, our free media, our law enforcements – all the things the terrorists hate.”
The Queen has sent her condolences to the families of those killed in the massacre, saying the attack had left her and the Duke of Edinburgh “shocked”.
• Tunisia gunman Seifeddine Rezgui: 'mixed a devotion for Isil with passion for Real Madrid football team'
She also sent her “deepest sympathy” to those injured in Friday’s slaughter in the popular holiday destination of Sousse. The atrocity represented the worst loss of British lives in an extremist attack since the London bombings of July 7 2005, when 52 people were killed.
Investigators have revealed they are looking for at least one accomplice, with an Interior Ministry spokesman saying they are sure that Rezgui had help.
At least a dozen Britons are still listed as missing with relatives increasingly frustrated with the failure of British and Tunisian authorities to discover what has happened to them.
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The Foreign Office said that the delays were in part because the victims were “dressed for the beach” and did not have identifying documents on them.
It came as British police mounted the biggest security operation in this country since 7/7, with more than 600 officers deployed to investigate and prevent attacks. More than 50 officials and officers have been sent to the North African country.
Lord Dannatt, the former head of the armed forces, has called for British forces to be deployed on the ground to fight Isil in Iraq and Syria.
Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, said that such a move would ultimately prove “unsuccessful” because Western troops would be seen as “an army of occupation”.
• David Cameron pledges to defeat 'ruthless, senseless and barbaric' Isil killers
He said that to put it “bluntly” the next terrorist attack is just as likely to take place in a European city as it is in Tunisia, adding that there cam be “no guarantee” of safety against lone-wolf extremists.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, also writing for The Telegraph, warns that people must not “censor” the use of the words “Muslim” or “Islamic” when describing the terrorists responsible for extremist attacks.
“That just lets too many people off the hook,” he says. “If we deny any connection between terrorism and religion, then we are saying there is no problem in any of the mosques; that there is nothing in the religious texts that is capable of being twisted or misunderstood; that there are no religious leaders whipping up hatred of the west, no perverting of religious belief for political ends.”
The killing spree by Kalashnikov-wielding student Rezgui targeted western tourists on the beach at the RIU Imperial Marhaba hotel and the RIU Bellevue and only ended when he was shot dead by police. A bomb was found on his body.
David Cameron warns the British public to be prepared for the UK death toll to rise
Following the attacks, it emerged that one wounded British holidaymaker survived by playing dead to avoid being finished off by Regzui after her husband was shot down beside her. Another was murdered in front of her husband, who survived the attack unscathed.
Nine Britons are currently being treated in hospital for serious injuries, including one who is in an induced coma after being shot seven times.
Following warnings that Britain is at risk of similar terrorist atrocities, Mr Cameron makes pledges to “stand up for our way of life”.
“We will not be cowed,” the Prime Minister says. “To our shock and grief we must add another word: resolve. Unshakeable resolve. We will stand up for our way of life. So ours must be a full-spectrum response – a response at home and abroad; in the immediate aftermath and far into the future.”
The Sun Sets on the private beach of The Hotel Imperial (Warren Allott/Telegraph)
As tributes were paid to the victims by family and friends, Buckingham Palace released a statement from the Queen which said: “Prince Philip and I were shocked to learn of the attack on British tourists in Tunisia on Friday.
“We send our sincere condolences to the families of those who were killed and our deepest sympathy to the people who are still fighting for their lives in hospital, and those who have been seriously injured.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those of all countries who have been affected by this terrible event.”
In a passionate rallying cry, the Prime Minister says that “the great British spirit” will “triumph” over the “cowards who murder defenceless people on a beach”.
“We have something the terrorists don’t,” Mr Cameron says. “We have the great British spirit that triumphs in the face of adversity. It's the spirit we have always shown when we faced threats to our nation in our history.
“It’s the spirit that saw London rebound after the 7/7 attacks, whose 10th anniversary we mark next month. It’s the spirit we saw as British tourists went to the beach in Tunisia this weekend, determined not to be cowed by the terrorists. We are the people who stand up to hatred.
“They are the cowards who murder defenceless people on a beach. They stand for oppression; we stand for freedom, and a peaceful, tolerant way of life.”
By Peter Dominiczak, Political Editor, Steven Swinford, Gordon Rayner and Ben Farmer in Sousse
9:58PM BST 28 Jun 2015http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/tunisia/11704972/Tunisia-attack-David-Cameron-calls-for-fightback-against-intolerance-as-30-Britons-confirmed-dead.html