Daesh claims Tunisia attack that killed 23 people

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Daesh claims Tunisia attack that killed 23 people

One of the slain gunmen was known to intelligence services, but no formal links to a particular extremist group have been established, the prime minister said.

By (AP)

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Published: Thu 19 Mar 2015, 10:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:09 PM

TUNIS — Tunisian security forces arrested nine people on Thursday in connection with the attack on the National Bardo Museum that left 23 people dead, scores of tourists wounded and upended the country’s struggling tourism industry, authorities said.

Five of those arrested were directly connected to Wednesday’s attack by two gunmen who were later slain by police, the president’s office said in statement on Thursday. The other four suspects were arrested in central Tunisia and were part of a cell supporting those involved, it said.

The Daesh group issued a statement on Thursday claiming responsibility for the deadly attack. The statement described Wednesday’s attack in Tunisia as a “blessed invasion of one of the dens of infidels and vice in Muslim Tunisia,” and appeared on a forum that carries messages from the group.

The deaths of so many tourists prompted a leading Italian cruise ship line to announce on Thursday it was canceling all stops in Tunisia indefinitely.

One of the slain gunmen was known to intelligence services, but no formal links to a particular extremist group have been established, the prime minister said.

Prime Minister Habib Essid said that Tunisia was working with other countries to learn more about the slain attackers, identified as Yassine Laabidi and Hatem Khachnaoui. He said Laabidi had been flagged to intelligence, although not for “anything special.”

A Spanish man and a pregnant Spanish woman who survived hid in the museum all night in fear and were retrieved safely on Thursday morning by security forces. Spain’s foreign minister said police searched all night for the pair, Juan Carlos Sanchez and Cristina Rubio.  



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