New arrests in Tunisia museum massacre: ministry

Tourists light candles at the national Bardo Museum in Tunis in memory of the victims of the March attack (AFP Photo/Fethi Belaid)

Tunis (AFP) - Tunisia said on Thursday that security forces arrested two "terrorist" cells whose members were mostly suspected of links to last month's attack on tourists at the national museum.

The interior ministry said the arrests brought to 46 the number of suspects detained over the March 18 attack that killed 21 foreign tourists and a policeman at the Bardo National Museum.

The latest arrests involved "two terrorist cells", and the majority of those held had links to the gunmen "through logistical support, the transport of weapons or hiding those involved", a statement said.

Last week, Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli said 23 suspects, including a woman, had been arrested for involvement in the attack, adding they were all Tunisians.

The Bardo attack was carried out by two Tunisian assailants who were themselves gunned down. It was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

But officials have said the mastermind was Algerian jihadist Lokmane Abou Sakhr, a leader of the Al-Qaeda-linked Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade, the main Tunisian armed group active along the border with Algeria.

Abou Sakhr was shot dead by Tunisian security forces on Saturday night.