Tunisian police claim to have arrested Belaid′s suspected killer | News | DW | 26.02.2013
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


Tunisian police claim to have arrested Belaid's suspected killer

Tunisian police say they have arrested a hardline Islamist suspected of having killed a leading opposition politician. The government has not yet commented on the report.

Details about the arrest, first reported late on Monday, remain sketchy, with some accounts saying police had also taken an accomplice into custody.

The AFP news agency cited police sources and local media, which reported that the main suspect, a 31-year-old man, had been arrested in a suburb of the capital, Tunis. It said both he and an accomplice, who allegedly drove the motorcycle on which the suspected killer escaped from the scene of the crime, were members of the radical Muslim Salafist movement.

Reuters quoted an unnamed security source, who confirmed only that the suspected killer had been arrested. Express FM, a local radio station, cited what it described as a "senior security source," who said three Salafists had been arrested, but provided no further details.

Neither news agency was able to reach the interior ministry for comment on the report.

The reported arrests come three weeks after opposition politician Chokri Belaid (pictured on placard above) was gunned down outside of his Tunis home.

The 48-year-old secular politician's family have accused the ruling Islamist Ennahda party of being behind his assassination, something the party has denied.

Tunisia's first political assassination in a decade sparked three days of anti-government protests.

Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali responded to the crisis with an attempt to form a government of technocrats to lead the country until fresh elections could be held. However this was rejected by his Ennahda party, which in turn led Jebali to step down.

Last Friday, the country's president, Moncef Marzoki, asked the interior minister, Ali Larayedh to form a new government and gave him two weeks to put together a cabinet.

Last week, Larayedh said that arrests had been made in the case.

"The investigation has not led yet to identify the killer, those behind the murder and its motives," he said.

The January 2011 uprising that swept longtime Tunisian strongman Ben Ali from power was the first of the so-called Arab spring revolutions that spread through the region in the following months.

pfd/lw (Reuters, AFP, dpa)