Tunisia's Belaid attackers arrested

2013-02-26 18:14
A Tunisian woman watches behind a national flag as mourners pour into Jebel Jelloud, a suburb of Tunis and hometown of assassinated leftist leader Chokri Belaid. (Fethi Belaid, AFP)

A Tunisian woman watches behind a national flag as mourners pour into Jebel Jelloud, a suburb of Tunis and hometown of assassinated leftist leader Chokri Belaid. (Fethi Belaid, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Tunis - Radical Salafist Muslims murdered Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid, with four suspects arrested and the killer identified but still on the run, Interior Minister Ali Larayedh said on Tuesday.

The breakthrough comes as Larayedh, named as prime minister-designate, presses efforts to form a new government aimed at pulling Tunisia out of a deep political crisis sparked by the 6 February killing of Belaid outside his home in Tunis.

"The killer has been identified and is being chased," Larayedh told a news conference.

"Four other suspects have been arrested. They are Tunisians and belong to a radical religious strand... which we refer to as the Salafist movement," said Larayedh.

Belaid's daylight killing on 6 February sparked deadly street protests and strikes and exposed the widening fissures between the ruling Islamists and liberals.

It also threw Tunisia into its worst political crisis since the revolution two years ago that ousted strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Larayedh said the four people arrested had "monitored [Belaid] for some time".

One of the suspects, he added, "confessed to having accompanied the killer on the day of the crime."

Who ordered it

Police sources had earlier told AFP that those behind the killing were adherents of the Salafist movement, which is known for its radical version of Sunni Islam.

They said one of the suspects was active in the League for the Protection of the Revolution, a controversial group linked to the ruling Ennahda party and implicated in attacks on secular opposition groups.

The Salafists have been blamed for several violent actions in Tunisia in the past few months - including an attack on the US embassy last September that left four attackers dead - with Ennahda being regularly accused by the opposition of protecting those behind the violence.

Larayedh declined to comment on who may have ordered the killing, even as Belaid's widow, Besma Khalfaoui, urged authorities to flush out those responsible.

"It is good to know who carried it out, but for me it is very important to know who ordered it... because this was a very well-organised crime," Khalfaoui told France's Europe 1 radio Tuesday during a visit to Paris.

"We are asking for a trial, for further investigation, for everything to be known."

Belaid's brother, Abdelmajid, accuses Ennahda of being behind the murder, which the party has denied.

"It's Ennahda which gave the green light to kill my brother," he told AFP.

Main political power

Khalfaoui was more cautious, saying only that "Ennahda's political leadership is involved."

The political crisis in Tunisia has been aggravated with Belaid's killing, with former premier Hamadi Jebali resigning after his own party Ennahda dismissed his proposal to form a government of technocrats.

Larayedh, also an Ennahda member, was named on Friday to replace Jebali. He has until 8 March to form a new government, which he has vowed will be "for all Tunisians".

He met with leaders of the secular Republican Party on Tuesday after holding talks the previous evening with Beji Caid Essebsi, ex-premier and leader of the opposition movement Nidaa Tounes, an AFP correspondent said.

Rached Ghannouchi, who heads Ennahda and is seen as the main political power in Tunisia, has said Larayedh's efforts are focused on enlarging the three-member ruling coalition to add more parties in a more broadly based coalition.

The alliance currently groups Ennahda with two secular, centre-left parties: President Moncef Marzouki's Congress for the Republic and Ettakatol.

- SAPA
Read more on:    tunisia  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.