Tunisian opposition politician assassinated

06 February 2013

Leader of the secular leftist party and prominent government critic shot outside Tunis home

Chokri Belaid, the leader of a Tunisian leftist opposition party, has been assassinated at his home in Tunis, according to local media reports.

The Democratic Patriotic Party’s secretary-general Belaid was shot in the neck and head as he left his house and later died after he was transported to a nearby clinic.

Belaid was a prominent critic of the moderate Islamist party Ennahda, which has dominated Tunisia’s government since elections in October 2011.

He was one of the leaders of the Popular Front, which was formed in October 2012 as a broad coalition to counter the government. On 2 February, Belaid accused Ennahda-backed Islamists of carrying out an attack on a Democratic Patriotic Party meeting.

Government spokesperson Samir Dilou described the assassination as an “odious crime”, according to news agency AP.

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