Our terror hols in Tunisia

A COUPLE have spoken of their terror after their luxury holiday turned into a nightmare.

Pauline and Terence Tucker flew to Hammamet in Tunisia for a 12-day five-star break. But then anti-government riots broke out in the North African country.

"I sat with my head in my hands hearing people getting shot," said Mrs Tucker, 62.

The couple, of Moor Bottom Road, Illingworth, Halifax, said they noticed the first signs of trouble shortly after they arrived.

Gangs of men lined the streets as the couple were driven from Monistir airport to their hotel.

Their Thomson travel told them the men were just leaving prayers at the mosque and they should not worry.

"They were all guarding the roundabouts. We did think it was a bit strange but the representative said it was a regular thing," said Mrs Tucker.

The following day guests went to a welcome meeting and decided which trips to take.

"When we went to pay for the trips she told us she couldn't accept our money because there were problems outside but she told us there was nothing to worry about." said Mrs Tucker.

The holidaymakers were then told they would not be allowed to leave the hotel compound.

The remaining two days of their holiday were filled with terror.

"When we stood on the balcony, we could see the fires burning in the distance. It smelt just like bonfire night."

Guests were plunged into darkness for three hours.

"Everybody started panicking. We thought it might have been an ambush," said Mrs Tucker.

With panic setting in, Mrs Tucker spoke to the travel rep.

"She whispered in my ear 'Just pack your clothes, we're taking you home tomorrow'," she said.

Their last night in Tunisia was filled with the sounds of gunfire.

"There were dogs barking. It sounded like 1,000 dogs just barking for hours because they were so frightened," she said.

Armed soldiers lined their route to the airport, with their driver completing the 90-minute journey at 80mph.

"It was very frightening. There were gangs of men everywhere," she said.

They landed back in the UK on Saturday evening and were today leaving for a five-day break in Belgium to relax, but are unhappy with the compensation offered by their travel provider.

They were intially offered 280, before a second offer included 100 off a future break. Their getaway had cost 950.

"I'm just not satisfied," said Mr Tucker, 69.

"They were the ones who flew us out," he said.

"It has put me off going back and it's a shame because they rely on tourism," said Mrs Tucker.