Four radicals arrested as police hunt for known assassin of Chokri Belaid
Tunisia's new Prime Minister tries to ease tension after opposition leader's murder
Tuesday 26 February 2013
Four people suspected of acting as accomplices in the assassination of Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid have been arrested.
Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh, who is due to take office as Prime Minister shortly, said that Mr Belaid’s killer had also been identified and a search to find him was under way.
Mr Laarayedh said the four suspected accomplices had a “radical religious tendency” and that one had confessed to accompanying the assassin on the day of the murder.
Mr Belaid, a prominent secular opponent of Tunisia’s moderate Islamist-led government, was shot dead outside his home in the capital Tunis on 6 February. His murder shocked Tunisia, which had not seen a political assassination on its soil since the killing of an anti-colonialist 60 years ago.
Tens of thousands of people turned out for Mr Belaid’s funeral, many chanting slogans from Tunisia’s Arab Spring revolution and demanding the “fall of the regime”. The unprecedented reaction forced Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali to resign, leaving Mr Laarayedh to form a new government.
One of the suspects made a visit to the crime scene last Thursday, escorted by a large deployment of police and anti-terror units, to re-enact the murder and subsequent getaway.
Outside Mr Belaid’s home in a middle-class suburb of the capital, a crowd who had come to observe the re-enactment began chanting “The people demand to know who killed Chokri Belaid”.
There has been widespread criticism of the government since the killing, with many blaming leaders for failing to contain the violence of religious groups including the Leagues for the Protection of the Revolution, a network of pro-Ennahda volunteer groups who have clashed with secularist politicians and supporters throughout the country.
Security sources have frequently maintained that Ennahda’s previous incarnation – as an underground dissident movement – has made it difficult for them to manage the state’s security apparatus.
“The majority of policemen have worked against Ennahda... and the majority of Ennahda members have threatened policemen... this has contributed to creating a certain caution between police officers and the Ennahda government,” said Kamel Mraihi, a police officer who has monitored Ennahda and other Islamist groups for 20 years.
Mr Laarayedh said there was no evidence the killer and accomplices belonged to a specific group. An early report had indicated that one of the arrested men belonged to an organisation associated with the Leagues in Le Kram, a working-class neighbourhood close to the capital.
However, members of the group, called the Men of the Revolution of Le Kram, insisted their organisation aimed only to “protect the citizens of El Kram” from the violence of both police and criminals. They said that the suspected accomplice in question – named as 25-year-old metallurgist Mohamed Amin – was instead a member of the Salafist group Ansar Al-Sharia, widely believed to be responsible for a violent protest at the American embassy in Tunis last year.
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...