Tuesday, Aug. 04
Latest News
  1. Kerry in Qatar to assure Gulf allies over Iran deal
  2. Yemen rebel chief says ready for political settlement
  3. Turkey's Erdogan says Putin may 'give up' on Assad
  4. Israel president threatened over 'Jewish terrorism' comment
  5. Iraqi Kurdish leader vows to avenge Yazidis
  6. Turkey vows 'whatever necessary' in fight against militants
  7. 'Hundreds' of Gulf Arab troops enter Yemen's liberated Aden
  8. Kerry in Qatar to assure Gulf allies over Iran deal
  9. Teen stabbed at Gay Pride march dies as pressure mounts on Israel
  10. Kerry pledges support for Egypt in Cairo talks
  11. UAE to try 41 on charges of seeking 'caliphate'
  12. Two Turkish troops killed in 'PKK suicide attack'
  13. Iraqis protest over poor services, salty tap water
  14. Exiled Yemen PM makes symbolic Aden visit to lead restoration
  15. New Taliban leader calls for unity in ranks in first audio message
  16. Iraqi Kurdistan leadership says PKK should leave
  17. Kerry lands in Egypt on first leg of Mideast tour
  18. Iraqis protest over poor services, salty tap water
  19. Dozens dead as Syria army 'pushes back rebels near regime heartland'
  20. Yemen PM returns to Aden from Saudi exile

Tunisian opposition politician shot dead

Feb. 6, 2013 12:06 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 7, 2013 9:51 A.M.)
By: Tarek Amara
TUNIS (Reuters) -- A prominent Tunisian opposition politician was shot dead outside his home on Wednesday, in a killing the prime minister condemned as a political assassination and a strike against the "Arab Spring" revolution.

Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said the identity of the killer of Shokri Belaid, a staunch secular opponent of the moderate Islamist-led government, was unknown.

President Moncef Marzouki cut short a visit to France and cancelled a visit to Egypt scheduled for Thursday after the killing, which brought around 1,000 protesters onto the streets outside the Interior Ministry.

"The murder of Belaid is a political assassination and the assassination of the Tunisian revolution. By killing him they wanted to silence his voice," said Jebali, who heads the government led by the Ennahda party, which won Tunisia's first post-Arab Spring election in 2011.

Belaid, who died in hospital after being shot in the capital Tunis, was a leading member of the opposition Popular Front party.

"Shokri Belaid was killed today by four bullets to the head and chest ... doctors told us that he has died. This is a sad day for Tunisia," Ziad Lakhader, a leader of the Popular Front, told Reuters. Other party sources confirmed his death.

Tunisia, the first Arab country to oust its leader and hold free elections as uprisings spread around the region two years ago, has so far made a relatively smooth transition to democracy.

Ennahda won 42 percent of seats in the first post-Arab Spring elections in October 2011 and formed a government in coalition with two secular parties, President Moncef Marzouki's Congress for the Republic and Ettakatol.

However, the government has faced many protests over economic hardship. Hampered by declining trade with the crisis-hit euro zone, it has struggled to deliver the better living standards that many Tunisians had hoped for.

And it says al-Qaida-linked militants have been accumulating weapons with the aim of creating an Islamic state.

Police, who demonstrated outside the prime minister's office last month, say they do not have the appropriate resources to deal with the threat from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and domestic Islamist militants who have easy access to weapons from neighboring Libya.

The president was in France for a meeting of the European Parliament and was due to have gone to Egypt to attend an Islamic summit.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015