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Thousands Protest Killing Of Tunisian Opposition Leader


Chokri Belaid was the head of the left-leaning Unified Democratic Nationalist Party.

Chokri Belaid was the head of the left-leaning Unified Democratic Nationalist Party.

Thousands of people across Tunisia are protesting the assassination of a secular opposition leader.

Chokri Belaid, the head of the Unified Democratic Nationalist Party, was shot on February 6 as he left his house in the capital, Tunis, and died later in a hospital.

Belaid had been critical of the moderate Islamist party, Ennahda, that dominates the government.

Several thousand protesters gathered on February 6 outside the Interior Ministry in Tunis, with thousands more demonstrating in Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of the Arab Spring uprisings.

Police in both cities used tear gas in an effort to disperse the angry protesters.

Before heading back to Tunisia, President Moncef Marzouki told the European Parliament in Strasbourg the killing was a "threat" by enemies of the country's democratic transition after the toppling of longtime dictator Zine el-Abidine ben Ali in 2011.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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