Father of gunman tells of his shock and shame

Screengrab taken from the SITE Intelligence Group website purporting to show the Tunisian hotel gunman Seifeddine Rezgui.
Screengrab taken from the SITE Intelligence Group website purporting to show the Tunisian hotel gunman Seifeddine Rezgui.
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.THE father of the gunman who shot dead 39 people in the Tunisia beach massacre has said he is “ashamed” of his son’s actions.

Speaking to ITV News soon after being released by police, Hakim Rezgui said that when he first heard the news he could not “comprehend” it.

He also said that he was “sorry” for all the lives that had been lost. Kalashnikov-wielding student Seifeddine Rezgui, 23, targeted western tourists on the beach in Sousse at the RIU Imperial Marhaba and the RIU Bellevue.

Mr Rezgui said: “My god, I am so shocked. I don’t know who has contacted him, influenced him or who has put these ideas in his head. He has new friends who got him into this.”

He added: “My son had no problem with anyone. But I don’t know who has changed his mind, influenced him and who has warped his mind.”

Mr Rezgui continued: “I wish there had been no victims, no one hurt. I wish it had never happened. Because when I see the victims I think it could have been my ow family. I had no idea and I am really sorry. I am upset to see those victims. I feel the loss of the families so strongly. I feel like I have died along with the victims. I am so ashamed for me, for his mother, for all our family.”

Those who knew the gunman have also spoken of their shock at his murderous actions.

Seifeddine Rezgui came from the town of Gaafour in the Siliana region, according to the country’s prime minister Habib Essid..

He had been a student at the University of Kairouan and had never travelled abroad.

Rezgui’s uncle said he was “just like the other young men” who liked to play football or go to a cafe after praying in the local mosque.

He liked break dancing and was well-known for entering competitions in the capital Tunis, Ali Al-Rezgui told the Sunday Telegraph.

Referring to the practice of devout Muslim men not shaving their beards, Mr Al-Rezgui said: “He didn’t even have a beard.”

He added: “We were all shocked when we heard the news and saw his picture, and his mother was devastated.”

Neighbours suggested the gunman may have been brainwashed.

Monia Riahi, 50, who is a neighbour and family friend, described him as “good, good, good”.

Images have emerged of the the gunman standing barefoot on the beach dressed in a black T-shirt and shorts, with a gun in his hand.