The father of the gunman who shot dead 38 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 own 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.”
Describing the attack as a “catastrophe”, Mr Rezgui explained that he rarely saw his son who had made new friends and spent all his time at university or at the coffee shop.
Adding that he had no idea of the plans Seifeddine was making, Mr Rezgui said: “My son lost his life and he has lost our lives too. He has lost his life, his studies, his future and he’s ended our lives too.”
The gunman’s aunt, Zara Rezgui, described him as a “blank page”, but a kind, calm, “normal boy” who spent most of the time alone.
She said: “He was a blank page, he didn’t tell us anything about what he was planning.
“The first time we knew about it was when we saw it on the news.
“We are shocked. God bless him. God is punishing us.
“His mother and father brought him up to be a good boy, work hard and get a good job. He never spoke about his secret.”