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23 held over Tunisia museum attack

Some 23 people have been arrested from the group suspected of being behind the museum attack that killed 21 people in Tunisia, the country's top security official says.

Two Moroccan and one Algerian suspect are thought to still be at large.

Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli said the arrests include a woman and the group is connected to the al Qaida-linked Oqba Ibn Nafaa brigade.

The March 18 attack was claimed by an al Qaida rival, the Islamic State group, but members of Oqba Ibn Nafaa have claimed allegiance to both radical groups.

The minister said at least 80% of the group behind the attack has been detained.

He said the gunmen that attacked the museum carried belts filled with Semtex explosive, which would have caused "catastrophic" damage if used.

Two members of the group had fought with extremists in Syria, while three others, including the museum attackers, had been to Libya, said Mr Gharsalli.

Revelations that the attackers had connections to Libya has thrown into stark relief the security threat to Tunisians from its chaotic neighbour where a lack of central authority has allowed the rise of extremists allied to the Islamic State group.

Mr Gharsalli detailed a well-organised operation that was planning further attacks and said the group was divided into a planning commission, a reconnaissance and support department, the operations people and the get-away crew.


From Belfast Telegraph