Tunisian assassination sparks new protest

by | Feb 7, 2013 | News

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Compiled by Jonathan Zettel

Tunisia has been plunged into political unrest and deadly street protests after the assassination of 48-year-old leftist opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

“This is a sad day that shook the country regardless of our differences,” Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said in an address to the nation.

In a consolatory move to quell unrest, Jebali moved to dissolve the current government and replace it with technocrats that would guide the country to elections as soon as possible.

But Jebali’s own party – the moderate Islamic Ennahda party – rejected the move, saying Hamadi Jebali “did not ask the opinion of his party,” the BBC reported.

On Wednesday a policeman was killed during clashes in the capital Tunis between security forces and protesters.

All of this has spurned more protests Thursday in the central Tunisian town of Gafsa.

The assassination has also prompted a call for a countrywide strike by Tunisia’s labour unions, according to Al Jazeera.

France has said that it will close French schools in Tunisia as tensions rise, Reuters reports.

The funeral for Belaid will be held Friday.