Bodies of 8 British victims in Tunisia attack flown home

Pallbearers carry a coffin from a British RAF C-17 plane, confirmed as carrying the body of Adrian Evans, as the bodies of eight British nationals killed Friday in the Tunisia beach terror attack at RAF Brize Norton, England, Wednesday July 1, 2015. (AP)

The bodies of eight of the 30 Britons killed in last week's jihadist attack in Tunisia arrived in Britain on Wednesday to a solemn ceremony reminiscent of the repatriation of fallen soldiers.

The bodies arrived at RAF Brize Norton northwest of London, where white-gloved pall-bearers in air force uniforms linked arms to carry each coffin to a hearse waiting near the runway.

The coffins, including those of three generations of a single family, had been covered with white flowers and flown from Tunisia aboard a Royal Air Force flight on a Boeing C-17 military transport plane.

The Foreign Office confirmed that these are the first bodies to be repatriated, with more expected in the coming days.

"This will be the first of a number of repatriations into RAF Brize Norton," it said in a statement.

On Friday, 23-year-old Tunisian Seifeddine Rezgui pulled a Kalashnikov assault rifle from inside a beach umbrella and went on a bloody rampage at the five-star RIU Imperial Marhaba hotel in Port El Kantaoui, killing 38 people.

The number of Britons identified as dying in the attack has now reached 29, the Foreign Office said Wednesday.

Another victim is believed to be British but police require further time to confirm the identity.

The death toll among Britons was the worst loss of life for Britain in a jihadist attack since the July 2005 bombings in London that killed 52 people.

Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed a full investigation, calling for "a response at home and abroad" to violent Islamic fundamentalism.

British police have sent forensic experts to Tunisia to help investigate the attack.

The 25 British tourists who were wounded in the attack have already been flown home, while 4,000 terrified holidaymakers were repatriated at the weekend.

Another 1,900 are due to return home in the coming days.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45