BEIRUT

Middle East

Tunisia's ruling Islamist party denies killing of secular foe

Forensic inspectors examine the car of prominent Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaid, who was shot dead outside his home, in Tunis February 6, 2013. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

TUNIS: The Islamist party that heads Tunisia's governing coalition party said it had nothing to do with the shooting death on Wednesday of secular opposition figure Chokri Belaid.

"Ennahda is completely innocent of the assassination of Belaid ... Is it possible that the ruling party could carry out this assassination when it would (only) disrupt investment and tourism?" party president Rached Gannouhi told Reuters in an interview.

He blamed those seeking to derail Tunisia's democratic transition after a 2011 uprising. "Tunisia today is in the biggest political stalemate since the revolution. We should be quiet and not fall into a spiral of violence. We need of unity more than ever," Gannouchi said.

 

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