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Key suspects in Tunis Bardo Museum attack released

Authorities have declined to say on what grounds the men are being released
Police patrol outside the Bardo Museum in Tunis following the 18 March attacks (AFP)

Eight people, arrested over a deadly attack on Tunisia's National Bardo Museum, have been freed, the justice minister said on Thursday.

This includes the man named as one of the key suspects at the time. 

"Seven people were released yesterday [Wednesday] and another one today," Justice Minister Mohamed Saleh Ben Aissa told AFP.

He said a magistrate had ordered the releases but would not say on what grounds or how many remained in custody over the 18 March attack in Tunis, during which two young Tunisians gunned down 21 foreign tourists and a policeman before being shot dead.

The Islamic State group claimed the attack, although authorities pointed to a cell headed by Mohamed Emine Guebli, who was among those released.

Tunisian authorities have announced a total of 46 arrests over the museum massacre.

British police, probing the attack, announced earlier this week that they believed that the Bardo attack was strongly linked to a second large-scale attack on a beach in Sousse that happened in late June. Almost 40 people, the majority British tourists, were killed in the mass shooting which was again claimed by IS.

The gunman was later shot dead by police. Authorities have said they have arrested 150 people in connection with the attack.