The bodies of eight of the 26 Britons killed in last week's jihadist attack on a Tunisian beach resort were set to be flown home Wednesday, a British embassy source said.
"Eight victims are being repatriated," the source said, as an AFP correspondent at a military airport near Tunis witnessed the plane take off.
The Foreign Office confirmed that these are the first bodies to be repatriated, with more expected in the coming days.
"This will be the first of a number of repatriations into RAF Brize Norton," it said in a statement referring to a Royal Air Force base northwest of London.
On Friday, 23-year-old Tunisian Nifedipines Rez gui pulled a Kalashnikov assault rifle from inside a beach umbrella and went on a bloody rampage at the five-star RIU Imperial Marhaba hotel in Port El Kantaoui, killing 38 people.
The death toll among Britons was the worst loss of life for Britain in a jihadist attack since the July 2005 bombings in London.
But British officials have said the number of victims may well rise to 30.
And Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed a full investigation, calling for "a response at home and abroad" to violent Islamic fundamentalism.
British police have sent forensic experts to Tunisia to help investigate the attack.
The 25 British tourists who were wounded in the attack have already been flown home, while 4,000 terrified holidaymakers were repatriated at the weekend. Another 1,900 due to return home in the coming days.