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4 family members of museum assailant arrested in Tunisia

4 family members of museum assailant arrested in Tunisia
Four relatives of an assailant killed in the deadly attack on the Bardo museum in the Tunisian capital have been arrested, the family and police said on Friday.

The sources told AFP that two brothers of the Khachnaoui family, their sister and father were arrested on Wednesday night in Kasserine near the border with Algeria, where the family has a small farm.

Prime Minister Habib Essid, hours after Wednesday’s attack, identified one of the two attackers killed as Hatem Khachnaoui.

But police sources in his home village of Ibrahim Zahar, southwest Tunisia, said his first name was in fact Jabeur. On Thursday, the presidency announced the arrests of “four people directly linked to the (terrorist) operation and five suspected of having ties to the cell”. The two gunmen who killed 21 people -- all but one of them foreign tourists -- at Tunisia’s national museum trained at a militant camp in Libya, Secretary of State for Security Rafik Chelly said on Friday. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, Tunisia’s secretary of state for security said the two gunmen who killed 21 people in an attack on foreign tourists at a Tunis museum trained at a militant camp in Libya.

“They left the country illegally last December for Libya and they were able to train with weapons there,” Rafik Chelly told the private AlHiwar Ettounsi television channel.

The two gunmen were named by authorities as Yassine Abidi and Hatem Khachnaoui.

Chelly said that Abidi had been arrested before making his way to Libya, without providing details.
Wednesday’s attack on the National Bardo Museum in central Tunis was the country’s worst since the 2011 uprising that toppled strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The security chief said the two gunmen had been “from sleeper cells” present in several areas. “We know they can launch operations but we must piece together clues in order to conduct an arrest,” Chelly said late Thursday. 


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