Tunisia: Six Security Guards Arrested as Sousse Attack Inquest Concludes

Sousse beach attack anniversary
British and Tunisian officials attend a ceremony in memory of those killed in 2015 by a jihadi gunman in front of the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Port El Kantaoui, on the outskirts of Sousse in Tunisia, June 26, 2016. Tunisian authorities said that six security guards have been arrested for failure to act during the attack in which 38 people were killed. FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty

Tunisian authorities have charged six security guards for failing to help tourists during the Sousse beach attack in June 2015, in which a lone gunman killed 38 people.

Sofian Sliti, a spokesman for Tunisia's judicial counter-terrorism investigations, told Reuters Tuesday that six guards from the Imperial Marhaba Hotel had been charged with failing to help the tourists in a manner that resulted in their deaths.

The spokesman added that another 14 people had been arrested and 12 others were under investigation in relation to the attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

The details emerged after the conclusion of a U.K. inquest Tuesday into the deaths of the 30 British nationals killed in the attack. Summing up his findings, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said that the response by Tunisian police was "at best shambolic and at worst cowardly," the BBC reported.

Seifeddine Rezgui, a Tunisian student whom Tunisian authorities claim trained with militants in Libya, carried out the attack June 26, 2015, in the holiday resort town of Port El Kantaoui, just north of Sousse. Rezgui shot tourists sunbathing on the beach before entering the hotel to continue his rampage.

Some police officers left the scene of the attack to collect more weapons, while one guard took off his shirt to hide the fact that he was part of the security services. With the exception of two marine guards, no police entered the grounds of the hotel until Rezgui had killed all 38 victims, the coroner said, according to The Guardian.

Rezgui was eventually shot dead by police, an hour after he started the attack.

A Tunisian inquest was also critical of the response of the security forces. But Tunisia's ambassador to the U.K. told the BBC that "the country is safe" and that the capacity of the security forces had been "improved a lot" since the attack.