Tunisia's Interior Ministry says there have been six new arrests in the campaign against al-Qaida-linked militants hiding along its mountainous border with Algeria, bringing the total this year to 45.

Spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said some of those arrested were militants and others were detained for supporting the armed men who were believed to have fled northern Mali and taken refuge in Tunisia.

Aroui showed photos of suspected militants still at large, including 20 Tunisians, six Algerians and a number of Libyans.

He said one of the men arrested was found near the capital Tunis and is responsible for managing militant weapons caches. He said fingerprints from a suspected assassin of a leftist politician were also found in his car.