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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid