Tunisia Arrests 9 in Tourist Massacre

Links to ISIS unclear, analysts say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2015 5:12 AM CDT
Tunisia Arrests 9 in Tourist Massacre
A woman holds a placard reading "No to Terrorism" as she demonstrates in front of the National Bardo Museum in Tunis yesterday.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The military has been deployed to major cities and nine people have now been arrested in the hunt for militants linked to Wednesday's museum massacre, Tunisia's president says. According to the president's office, four of the people arrested had direct links to the attack that killed 21 people, while five others had "ties to the cell," the BBC reports. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities say no links between the two slain gunmen and the group have been uncovered, and analysts tell the AP that the Tunis attackers may have been inspired by ISIS, but not acting under its direct orders.

Other jihadi groups have sought to link themselves to the attack, according to the New York Times, which sees the attack as a sign that ISIS victories are "emboldening like-minded militants to acts of violence around the world," including recent attacks in France, Canada, and Australia. Tunisia's prime minister says the final death toll includes three Japanese citizens, four Italians, two Colombians, and one each from Australia, France, Poland, and Spain, Al Jazeera reports, though there's some confusion over the nationality of a few of the victims. Authorities say the two Colombian victims are a mother and child, whose father survived. Two Spanish tourists who hid in the museum all night were found safe. (More Tunisia stories.)

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