Tunisia buries jihadist gunman under strict security cordon

Friday 25/09/2015
He brought shame on Gaafour town

TUNIS - The jihadist gunman who killed 38 tourists at the Tunisian beach resort of Sousse in June was buried on Wednesday under a strict security cordon, a correspondent said.

The body of 23-year-old Seifeddine Rezgui, who was killed by police after his bloody rampage, was taken from Tunis to the farming town of Gaafour in the northwest for burial.

No residents of Gaafour other than the relatives attended, and no Muslim funeral rite was permitted, including the "Janaza" prayer that directly precedes burial, the correspondent said.

"He (Rezgui) brought shame on our town, he dirtied us!" one resident said.

The June 26 attack at Port El Kantaoui, north of Sousse, killed 30 Britons, three Irish nationals, two Germans, one Belgian, one Portuguese and a Russian.

Tourists fled in horror as Rezgui pulled a Kalashnikov assault rifle from inside a furled beach umbrella and began a shooting spree outside a five-star hotel.

The attack on the beach and around the swimming pools of the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

The interior ministry said on Wednesday it could not say why there had been a delay of three months between Rezgui's death and burial, during which time his body was kept in the morgue of a Tunis hospital.

Prime Minister Habib Essid has said Rezgui was radicalised on the Internet before undergoing weapons training in neighbouring Libya.

Since Tunisia's 2011 revolution, the North African country has seen a rise in jihadist extremism that the authorities also blame for the deaths of many members of its security forces.