127 Arrested in Tunisia Since Beach attack

127 Arrested in Tunisia Since Beach attack127 Arrested in Tunisia Since Beach attack

Tunisian authorities have arrested 127 suspected “terrorists” since last month’s attack on tourists at a beach resort, the minister heading the crisis group on the incident said Saturday.

“Since the attack, the security forces have carried out more than 700 operations resulting in the arrests of 127 suspected members of terrorist gangs,” Kamel Jendoubi said, Middle East Eye reported.

The June 26 shooting rampage by a Tunisian student at Port El Kantaoui killed 30 Britons, three Irish nationals, two Germans, one Belgian, one Portuguese and a Russian, and was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Jendoubi did not specify how many of the 127 people detained were being held for suspected involvement in the beach attack. He had earlier announced the arrest of eight people suspected of having direct links to it.

The minister stressed the government’s determination to protect “the country, citizens and nationals of foreign countries.”

Today, more than 100,000 police, national guard and civil protection officers in addition to the army have been deployed. Around 3,000 security guards were protecting beaches, hotels and archeological sites in the country, he said.

The Sousse attack was the second to target foreign tourists in just over three months. In March, 21 tourists and a policeman were killed in a gun attack on the National Bardo Museum in Tunis, also claimed by the IS.

 Tunisian Al-Qaeda Affiliate Leader Killed

A senior leader of an Al-Qaeda-linked group that has been blamed for a spate of violence in Tunisia was among five militants killed by security forces in a recent raid, an official said.

“The DNA tests confirmed that Mourad Gharsalli was shot dead (on Friday),” presidential spokesman Moez Sinaoui wrote in a post on his Twitter account.

Gharsalli, a 32-year-old Tunisian, was one of the leaders of the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigades, the country’s main militant group and one of the authorities accused of being behind several recent attacks.