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Tunisia Beach Attack: Authorities Arrest 'Significant Number' Of Suspects

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| June 30 , 2015 , 08:37 IST
[caption id="attachment_69016" align="aligncenter" width="745"]Tunisian Interior minister Mohamed Najem Gharsalli, center, is flanked by British Home Secretary Theresa May, right, and German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere as they pay respect to the victims of Friday's shooting attack in front of the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the Mediterranean resort of Sousse, Tunisa, Monday, June 29, 2015. The top security officials of Britain, France, Germany and Belgium are paying homage to the people killed in the terrorist attack on Friday. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar) Tunisian Interior minister Mohamed Najem Gharsalli, center, is flanked by British Home Secretary Theresa May, right, and German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere as they pay respect to the victims of Friday's shooting attack in front of the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the Mediterranean resort of Sousse, Tunisa, Monday, June 29, 2015. The top security officials of Britain, France, Germany and Belgium are paying homage to the people killed in the terrorist attack on Friday. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)[/caption] Days after the beach attack at a popular tourist spot in Tunisian city of Sousse, the Interior Minister Mohamed Najem Gharsalli said on Monday, that they have arrested a "significant number" of suspects in the terrorist attack on foreign tourists that killed at least 38 and injured dozens. Gharsalli said "the first part of the network" responsible for the gun attack at the beachfront Imperial Marhaba Hotel had been detained, local Radio Shems Fm reported. "We have begun with the arrests of a first group, a significant number of people belonging to the network behind this criminal terrorist," Gharsalli said. He was referring to the 23-year-old Tunisian engineering student Seifeddine Rezgui who was shot dead by police after he allegedly carried out the massacre in Sousse with a Kalashnikov rifle, disguised as a tourist. The bodies of victims of the attack were still being identified on Monday but most of the victims were British, the Tunisian government said. ALSO READ: ISIS Claims Responsibility For Tunisian Resort Attack An alleged accomplice of Rezgui was arrested hours near the motorway from Sousse to Tunis, two hours after the massacre. Police recovered Rezgui's mobile phone from the sea and said they hoped to be able to retrieve information from its SIM card. "We will uncover all those involved," Gharsalli warned. He gave no further details but said investigators were probing the possibility that Rezgui and accomplices in the attack were trained in neighbouring Libya. Earlier on Monday, Tunisia said 1,000 armed officers would be deployed from July 1 to reinforce the country's tourism police, who will also now carry guns for the first time. Tunisian authorities also announced plans to close 80 mosques accused of inciting extremism, and Algeria said it was deploying 25,000 soldiers and raising security alert levels along its 965 km border with Tunisia. IS claimed the shooting, the worst in modern-day Tunisia, which followed a March attack also claimed by the group on Tunis's Bardo National Museum that killed 21 foreign tourists and a policeman. IS also took credit for the Bardo attack, which Tunisian authorities said they believe it was carried out by another jihadi group, Okbn Ibn Nafaa. MUST READ: Day Of Terror In Three Continents: Attacks In France, Tunisia, Kuwait; Over 65 Dead