In Brief

Tunisia attack: five acts of love and courage amid tragedy

From the Welshman who took a bullet for his fiancé to the Muslim hotel staff who formed a human shield

Survivors of the terrorist attack on a Tunisian beach that killed 38 people have spoken of their fear and grief. But amid the tragedy, tales of love and bravery have begun to emerge. 

Hotel staff form a human shield

Tunisian hotel staff have been praised for their bravery during the deadly attack, during which they formed a human shield to protect tourists from the gunman. "It's amazing what they did," British survivor John Yeoman told the Daily Mirror. "The staff were in a line and they were shouting at him, saying 'we won't let you through'". 

A Tunisian teenager who worked at the resort hiring out jet skis also risked his life to save four British tourists. 18-year old Ibrahim el Ghoul helped them into a nearby boat before running after the gunman throwing rocks at him. "I am not a hero," he told the Daily Telegraph. "This was what I had to do."

Man takes a bullet for his fiancé

Mathew James, a 30-year old father of two from Wales, is back in the UK recovering after being shot three times in the shoulder, chest and hip trying to protect his fiancé Saera Wilson from the gunman.

She said he told her: "I love you babe. But just go – tell our children that their daddy loves them. "She added: "He took a bullet for me. I owe him my life because he threw himself in front of me when the shooting started – it was the bravest thing I've ever known." James also held the hand of an elderly man as he lay dying instead of running to safety, reports ITV News.

Builder throws rubble on gunman

Local builder Mayel Moncef has been hailed a hero for striking the terrorist moments before he was shot by police as he tried to escape the resort. He threw piles of rubble and tiles off the rooftop at the gunman, shouting "you terrorist, you dog".  Moncef told Channel 4 News: "All I did was my duty, the duty of any Tunisian and any Muslim." 

Schoolboy helps wounded after family is killed

Local medics have praised a British schoolboy who ran to the aid of a wounded woman after witnessing the death of three of his family members. Owen Richards, a 16-year old from the West Midlands was injured in the attack and saw his brother, uncle and grandfather shot dead, but still carried on helping other victims.

"When Owen was later found by a medic he was 'shaking and crying' and he said simply: 'I have to call my mum'," reports the Daily Mail. His mother Suzanne Richard has since flown out to Tunisia. "She's gone out there to bring Owen home," said a neighbour. 

Welsh couple get engaged

Ben Milton had been planning to propose to girlfriend Shelley Hay on her 25th birthday, the day of the deadly attack. The couple from Cardiff were sunbathing on the beach in Sousse when the gunman opened fire and shots rang out "like fireworks," he told ITV News. "I just got up, grabbed our bag with all the valuables in, spotted Shelley, grabbed her, and we just started running towards the hotel gates with everyone else," said Milton. The pair then locked themselves in their hotel room.

Later that night Milton reconsidered proposing, but decided not to let the terrorists change his plans. "First of all I thought 'I'm going to have to leave it and wait until we get home'," he said. "But as the day went on I thought 'No, actually, they're not going to stop this' so I just did it anyway."


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