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Tunisian actor physically attacks culture minister

Aug. 17, 2013 11:18 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 17, 2013 11:18 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Tunisian actor and director on Friday physically attacked the country's Minister of Culture Mahdi Mabrouk, local media reported.

The minister was delivering a speech to commemorate another Tunisian actor at a cultural center in Tunis when Nasreddine Shili assaulted him, Shems FM radio reported.

The minister was hospitalized after Shili punched him and threw an egg at him. The motive for the assault was not clear.

Mabrouk was appointed culture minister in 2011 after Tunisia's Ennahda Movement won elections.

He repeatedly criticized attacks against Tunisian actors by Islamist hardliners and promised to defend freedom of expression.

However, the minister angered Tunisian entertainers in 2012 when he said many Tunisian artists were not qualified enough to appear on stage at the Carthage Film Festival.
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