Tunisia lawmaker escapes 'assassination bid'

2015-10-08 17:32
(Fethi Belaid, AFP)

(Fethi Belaid, AFP)

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Tunis - A lawmaker with Tunisia's main, anti-Islamist political party said he escaped an assassination bid while driving to work on Thursday in the coastal city of Sousse.

The popular resort city was the site in June of a beachfront massacre in which a jihadist gunman killed 38 foreign tourists.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Sousse massacre and the killing in March of 21 people at the national museum in Tunis.

Ridha Charfeddine, who said he was unharmed, told Jawhara FM radio he was shot at from another car on the road.

"I wasn't able to see the shooter sitting in the back seat," added the legislator with Nidaa Tounes, the party of President Beji Caid Essebsi.

"It's a miracle that I'm still alive," said Charfeddine, who is president of a first division football club, Etoile Sportive de Sahel.

He is also the main shareholder of Attasiaa TV.

Earlier this week, the private channel's executive director, Moez Ben Gharbia, claimed in an online video that he had "all the information" about the assassination two years ago of two left-wing opposition figures claimed by ISIS.

Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi were shot dead in front of their homes.

Belaid's family has repeatedly demanded the full truth behind his killing.

Ben Gharbia's video, which local media said he recorded in Switzerland, sparked an online debate and prompted the authorities to open a probe into his claims.

Charfeddine, appearing on national television, refused to comment on any possible link between the video and the alleged attempt to murder him.

Interior ministry spokesperson Walid Louguini told AFP "security units" had been sent to the site of the incident and observed that the lawmaker's car had been hit by nine bullets.

"A manhunt in under way" to find the perpetrators, Louguini said, adding that the ministry has "agreed to a request for protection for Ridha Charfeddine and his family."

Read more on:    isis  |  tunisia  |  north africa

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