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Authorities arrest more than 20 suspects after attack on museum in Tunisia

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
A man places a Tunisian flag onto a police car as a policeman stands guard in Tunisia
A man places a Tunisian flag onto a police car as a policeman stands guard in Tunisia

Authorities have arrested more than 20 suspected militants, including 10 believed to be directly involved in the attack on a museum in Tunisia.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui said there was  a large-scale campaign against the extremists that had resulted in the arrests following the Bardo museum attack when gunmen killed foreign tourists.

Hundreds of Tunisians gathered for a mass in the cathedral in Tunis today, lighting candles to remember the 20 foreign tourists and three Tunisian victims in a ceremony attended by government ministers.

Japanese, French, Polish, and Colombian visitors were among the victims.

The assault on Wednesday that  was the most deadly attack involving foreigners in Tunisia since a 2002 suicide bombing in Djerba , came at a fragile moment for a country just emerging to full democracy after its pioneering popular uprising four years ago.  

The government said the two gunmen had trained in jihadi camps in Libya before the attack at the museum inside the heavily secured Tunisian parliament compound.

The government plans to deploy the army to major cities to increase security following the shootings.    

Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the attack, but social media accounts tied to an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Tunisia have also published details purportedly about the operation.