Death in Tunis as Salafists clash with police

Arab World Materials 31 October 2012 09:05 (UTC +04:00)
Death in Tunis as Salafists clash with police
Death in Tunis as Salafists clash with police

Tunisia's state news agency says one protester has been killed and three security officers injured in clashes near the capital Al Jazeera reported.

Wielding sharp tools and swords, the protesters went on the attack in the Tunis suburb of Manouba after police arrested a Salafist suspected of assaulting the head of the suburb's public security brigade, said interior ministry spokesman Khaled Tarrouche.

Tuesday's attacks were carried out by "a large number of people with radical religious tendencies," Tarrouche told the AFP news agency.

"The response by the security forces led to the death of an attacker who was hit by a bullet," he said.

Two security force members were also seriously injured, he said. The suburb's security chief, Wissem Ben Slimane, said on Sunday that he had been attacked the day before by a suspected Salafist who was wielding a hatchet and wounded him in the head.

The assault took place as the national guard, the equivalent of a gendarme force, intervened in a brawl between illegal alcohol sellers and a group of Salafists in Manouba.

Tunisia's government has pledged to crack down on extremist violence since a deadly protest outside the US embassy last month.

Since the Tunisian revolution in January last year that ousted former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, radical Islamists have carried out a number of attacks in the country, including against security forces and on cultural events.

The opposition accuses the government, led by the Islamist party Ennahda, of failing to rein in violence by Salafists.