Tunisian authorities have announced the arrest of the prime suspect in the 2015 attack on the Bardo Museum that killed more than 20 dead, mostly tourists, after intercepting a boat en route to European coasts.
Coast Guard spokesman for Susa Province Karum Balhuch has indicated that the suspect, whose identity has not been disclosed, was on board one of the two ships that were intercepted off the coast of the cities of Nabeul and Susa on Monday.
He stressed that “the two ships were carrying 27 undocumented Tunisian migrants” and pointed out that the suspect intended to reach the coasts of Italy, the Tunisian state news agency TAP reported.
The attack on the Museo del Barco came on March 18, 2015 when two attackers opened fire on a group of people inside the facilities and killed 21 tourists, including two Spaniards, and a police officer. The event resulted in the deaths of the two attackers and another 45 injured.
The arrest was confirmed after security forces killed five suspected terrorists in an operation on Monday in a mountain area in the province of Kasserine (West) on the border with Algeria.
The province of Kasserine has been the scene of numerous counter-terrorism operations in recent years, particularly in several mountain areas of the province. There are several terrorist cells in the region, including groups linked to the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
Tunisia has been in a state of emergency since 2015 when a series of attacks rocked the country, including the one against the museum. In June of the same year, another attack took place in the tourist town of El Kantaui, which resulted in 39 deaths. In November 2015, 14 people died in a terrorist attack against members of the Presidential Guard.