Prominent Tunisia opposition leader assassinated

Published February 6th, 2013 - 12:17 GMT
The body of Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid, shot dead with three bullets fired from close range by a man wearing a traditional long garment with a pointed hood on Wednesday.
The body of Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid, shot dead with three bullets fired from close range by a man wearing a traditional long garment with a pointed hood on Wednesday.

A leading critic of the Islamist-led government in Tunisia was shot dead outside his home in Tunis on Wednesday.

Chokri Belaid, a leftist and general secretary of the Democratic Patriotic Party, was assassinated by a man said to be wearing traditional clothing with a pointed hood shortly after he left his house.

He was one of the main leaders of the Popular Front, which was formed in October 2012 to provide an alternative to the government.

He was a chief critic of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which leads the coalition government, along with two secular parties. Ennahda has drawn the ire of opponents for entertaining Salafist political groups. 

Ennahda released a statement on Wednesday (statement here, in Arabic) condemning the killing and calling it a “heinous crime” intended to damage the country’s security and stability.

Following the news of Belaid’s death, protestors reportedly took to the streets outside the Interior Ministry, chanting: "Bread and water but no Ennahdha! Ghannouchi out! We sacrifice our blood and our souls for the martyrs."


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