News / Africa

Tunisia Charges 'Islamist Extremists' Murdered Opposition Leader

Tunisian Government Accuses Islamist Extremist Of Murderi
X
July 27, 2013 2:32 AM
Tunisia's government says the gun that was used to kill an opposition politician Thursday is the same one used in a similar assassination of an opposition figure earlier in the year. Anti-government protestors took to the streets following the killing, while supporters of the ruling party staged counter-protests. Flights in and out of Tunisia were grounded Friday after the main trade union called a strike. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Tunisian Government Accuses Islamist Extremist Of Murder

Henry Ridgwell
— Tunisia's government says a leading opposition figure assassinated Thursday and another political leader killed earlier this year were killed by bullets from the same gun. 

Waves of anti-government protesters took to the streets of the capital and other cities Friday, while supporters of the ruling party staged counter-protests.  The country's main trade union called a general strike, and flights in and out of Tunisia were grounded.

Many protesters on the streets of Tunis and other cities accused the ruling Ennahda party of involvement in the killing, a claim the party has strenuously denied.  That has not convinced Brahmi's widow, Mbarka.
 
She said the violence happening in Tunisia is not a "simple street fight" between two parties, but "a premeditated violence brought about by the government."
 
Authorities say Mohamed Brahmi was killed by bullets from the same gun used to murder another opposition politician, Chokri Belaid, in February.

Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou contends a radical Islamist group of Salafists carried out the killings. Jeddou said the leading figure in the murder plot is Boubacar Hakim, an extremist Salafist and suspected arms smuggler.
 
Chokri Belaid's murder in February prompted the biggest protests since President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was swept from power in 2011.

Tunisia's opposition feels Ennahda is doing little to tackle Islamic extremism, said Fatima El-Issawi of the London School of Economics.

 "Their way of reacting to this growing intimidation by these radical Islamist voices is conceived to be very weak," he said.

Two Ennahda offices were set on fire Thursday night.

Demonstrators waved Egyptian flags as a sign of solidarity with the protests that prompted Egypt's military to oust Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi earlier this month.

Protesters in Tunis say they want the same result. One said "the Egyptian solution" is a possible outcome for Tunisia, too.
 
But London-based analyst El-Issawi said military intervention would be a major setback for Tunisia.

"Secular Tunisians fell very empowered by what happened in Egypt," she said. "There is a growing movement of rebellion - [like Egypt's] Tamarod - in Tunisia.  They are out in the street calling for the toppling of the Ennahda regime.  But we don't know what they want.  We don't know how they want to implement this change.  There are no direct calls for the military to take control of the situation."

Tunisia's Ennahda party has lost an important Islamist ally in Egypt, she said.

"They are definitely very weakened.  They are very nervous.  They are fearing to see the same scenario, the same Egyptian scenario repeated in Tunisia," El-Issawi said.

The violence comes as Tunisia's lawmakers are finalizing work on a new constitution, due to be put to a public vote in the coming weeks, before presidential elections later in the year.



You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid