Clevedon family flee Tunisia terror attack
PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:26 01 July 2015
A father and daughter were forced to 'barricade' themselves in their hotel room after being caught up in the devastating terrorist attack in Tunisia.
Jon Bond and 16-year-old Rebekah, pictured right, flew to Tunisia on June 17 for a holiday to celebrate the end of her GCSE exams.
However they were forced to go into hiding when gunman Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire on the beach near Sousse on Friday, killing 38 people. At least 22 were from the UK but that figure is likely to rise to about 30.
The pair, from Hollyman Walk in Clevedon, are now safely back in the country and have been speaking to the Times about their terrifying experience and how they heard several gunshots as they looked for somewhere to hide.
Jon, aged 49, said: “We were staying at Hotel Rui Bellevue Park – the second (hotel) to be targeted.
“We happened to be in the outdoor pool when we heard a number of bangs like fireworks. There were about six, then a space, then another similar number of bangs.
“We started to see people running from the beach and heard a woman shouting that there was a man with a big gun. We got out of the pool and ran to the lobby area where we saw a woman being helped who had been shot in the leg.”
Jon added: “We were then told to go into our hotel rooms and barricade the doors.
“Our apartment overlooked the main hotel and we could see a figure with a gun but now think it may have been a local response unit. We could also see lots of people running around just doing whatever they could.
“It seemed to go on for ages. I think it lasted around 30 minutes but certainly felt longer.
“It then went quiet and we could see bodies covered with towels being brought up from the beach.
“Eventually we left the hotel room and the manager announced they had shot the gunman.”
Jon says the attack has had a big effect on Rebekah who has since decided she wants to raise money to help the victims of the attack.
He said: “She would like to do something and really wants Clevedon School to get involved. It has hit her harder because she is young.”
Many Britons in the area at the time of the attack decided to return home immediately but Jon and Rebekah chose to stay for the remainder of their holiday as they were concerned the large number of people heading back to the airport could have been targetted.
He said: “Our main concern was that so many people were leaving in coaches at the same time that there could have been a car bomb or an attack on the convoy, so we decided to stay until Sunday and support local people as they were all lovely and really helped.
“When we eventually got back we were interviewed by the police and given details by our travel company. We also went to Rebekah’s school to talk things over.”