News / Middle East

Unrest Rises in Tunisia After Islamists Kill Police Officers

Unrest Rises in Tunisia After Islamists Kill Police Officersi
X
October 25, 2013
Tunisian security forces fired tear gas on Thursday to disperse hundreds of people trying to storm a local government building as demonstrations broke out over the killing of seven policemen by Islamist militants.

Video from VOA

TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Tunisian security forces fired tear gas on Thursday to disperse hundreds of people trying to storm a local government building as demonstrations broke out over the killing of seven policemen by Islamist militants.

Tensions are rising in Tunisia, where the ruling moderate Islamist Ennahda party and opposition have been trying to start talks to end a paralyzing deadlock since the assassination of two secular opposition leaders earlier this year.

Wednesday's killings delayed the long-awaited negotiations to save a transition to democracy, once seen as a model for the region, nearly three years after the first Arab Spring uprising toppled Tunisian autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Clashes erupted at a government building in Kef in northern Tunisia after funerals for the officers, with enraged residents accusing Ennahda of being too lenient with hardline Islamists. 

Protesters attacked two local party offices of Ennahda in Kef and Beja, ransacking one and burning furniture in the street. Demonstrators took to the streets in four other cities to demand the Ennahda government resign, residents said.

“Ennahda killed my son, I will not accept consolation only after the departure of Ennahda...They are destroying our country and kill our children and want to turn Tunisia into a new Sudan,” said the mother of Socrate Charni, one of the seven slain policemen.

Divisions between Islamists and their secular opponents have widened in one of the Muslim world's most secular countries.

Prime Minister Ali Larayedh says Ennahda is ready to resign, but insists on the completion of the country's new constitution, the establishment of an electoral commission and a clear election date before handing over power.

Talks are scheduled over the next three weeks to decide on a caretaker government and set a date for elections. But opposition leaders want Ennahda to be clearer about its intention to resign.

The government two months ago declared a local hardline Islamist movement, Ansar al-Sharia, to be a terrorist organization and began a crackdown that authorities say has led to more than 300 arrests.

Islamist violence is less common in Tunisia than in some other North African countries, where al-Qaida-associated groups have a stronger presence. But militants have grown in influence since the Arab Spring felled relatively secular authoritarian leaders who had suppressed Islamists for decades.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid