Seven jihadists have been sentenced to life in prison for their part in the terror attacks in Tunisia.

Sixty people, mostly tourists, died in the two attacks and many were wounded.

Thirty-eight people lost their lives when lone gunman Seifeddine Rezgui launched a terrifying killing spree on unsuspecting holidaymakers.

The attack took place on a beach at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel near Sousse on June 26, 2015.

He continued to spray bullets and throw grenades until he was shot dead by police.

Now Tunisian authorities have given seven other terrorists life jail terms and handed out other sentences for both the Sousse seaside massacre and a linked attack on a museum in Tunis in March of the same year, which killed 22 people.

A note at the memorial for the victims of the 2015 Sousse Beach terrorist attack on the beach in front of the Imperial Marhaba hotel

Samir Ben Amor, a lawyer for one of the 44 defendants, said other defendants received jail terms ranging from 16 years to six months, while charges against 27 of the suspects were dismissed.

None received the maximum penalty of capital punishment.

Among those who lost their lives in the Sousse attack, claimed by the  so-called Islamic State , were  Joel Richards, 19, and brother Adrian Evans, 49, and father Patrick Evans, 78.

Only Suzy’s younger son Owen Richards, now 18, survived the attack and was later commended at the Birmingham Mail’s  Pride of Birmingham Awards  for his selfless courage in helping others that day.

 

The inquest into the deaths of the  30 Britons killed in the atrocity  ruled that the holiday industry had still not taken steps needed to protect tourists.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith warned that holidaymakers needed more informed advice when they booked breaks in risky destinations.

Now, ABTA has launched a new training session on the touchy subject for travel agents.

The beach near the RIU Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisia
The beach near the RIU Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, Tunisia

“For a while now Smile For Joel, with the kind support of Co-operative Travel, has been working alongside ABTA to raise awareness of holiday destination safety,” says Suzy, who teaches Travel and Tourism at Walsall College and has worked in the industry for 30 years.

“We are so pleased to announce that from this, ABTA has now launched a new training programme to teach travel staff how important it is to clearly advise their customers on Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice when booking a destination.

“Safety should always come before a sale.

“After my own horrific personal loss of losing my son, dad and brother in the Sousse attack, raising awareness of customer safety has been very important to me.

“Until now, when selling a holiday, conversations around travel advice have covered fairly straightforward matters such as visas and vaccinations.

“But there must be a time when the conversation turns to talk about safety.”

 

She added: “I know it will be difficult to have these conversations without them sounding scary. But done properly, customers will feel more reassured, confident, respected and informed.

“As an industry, we want people to go on holiday and explore new places.

“Front-line staff can empower customers to make informed decisions about where they are going by clearly directing them to read and understand the Government’s official travel advice, which has all of the necessary facts and information.

“This is a subject I’ve been discussing with ABTA and I am pleased they have now introduced an FCO training module.

“I fully support all sales staff completing this 20-minute training, which goes through some challenging questions, based on real-life examples from front-line sales staff, with useful responses.

“We live in a world now where no-one can say for certain what will happen. But what the industry can say is that the Foreign Office has travel advice about every destination in the world – and that you should check the advice before booking your trip, and continue checking it leading up to your trip.”



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