23 arrests in hunt for museum attackers

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Some 23 people have been arrested from the group suspected of being behind the museum attack that killed 21 people in Tunisia, the country’s top security official says.

Two Moroccan and one Algerian suspect are thought to still be at large.

Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli said the arrests include a woman and the group is connected to the al-Qaida-linked Oqba Ibn Nafaa brigade.

The March 18 attack was claimed by an al-Qaida rival, the Islamic State group, but members of Oqba Ibn Nafaa have claimed allegiance to both radical groups.

The minister said at least 80 per cent of the group behind the attack has been detained.

He said the gunmen that attacked the museum carried belts filled with Semtex explosive, which would have caused “catastrophic” damage if used.

n Nigeria-based Boko Haram has killed more than 1,000 civilians this year and forced hundreds of abducted girls and women to convert to Islam and marry fighters, a leading human rights group has said.

Human Rights Watch said people are desperate despite recent successes of a multi-national offensive which has seized back dozens of towns from the Islamic extremists.

The New York-based group also said Nigerian security forces torched a village and killed at least five civilians.

A report issued yesterday, based on accounts from witnesses and media, said Nigeria’s government is not doing enough to protect its civilians.

Nigeria is preparing for critical presidential elections tomorrow which Boko Haram is threatening to disrupt because it opposes democracy.