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Tunisia probes 'Harlem Shake' students as video goes viral

This frame grab taken on February 19, 2013 from the Facebook page of "TheSunnyCoastSkate" shows a group of Australian teenagers who have been credited with stoking a viral dance craze called the "Harlem Shake". AFP PHOTO / TheSunnyCoastSkate

TUNIS: Tunisian authorities have ordered a probe into the staging of a "Harlem Shake" show in a Tunis suburb by students who dance wildly and imitate sexual acts, after a video recording went viral on the Internet.

"The ministry of education has demanded an investigation and the department will take appropriate measures," Education Minister Abdellatif Abid said on private Radio Mosaique.

He said there could be possible "expulsions" of students or "sacking" of educational staff who were behind the staging of the dance.

Video footage, which shows participants smoking, dancing wildly in uncoordinated manner and simulating sexual acts, has spread on the Internet, with dozens of different versions attracting millions of views.

The dance was purportedly staged by students from Menzah 6 district of Tunis in a school compound, with some dancing in shorts and others wearing fake beards and tunics showcasing proponents of radical Salafist movement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSDJJsvzpbY).

The secular opposition regularly accuses Tunisia's ruling Islamist party Ennahda of allowing a slow Islamisation of the society.

The education minister is a member of Ettakatol, a centre-left secular ally of Ennahda.

The incident comes as more and people around the world emulate the "Harlem Shake" craze, which was sparked by a group of Australian teenagers who uploaded a 31-second clip "The Harlem Shake v1 (TSCS original)" onto YouTube earlier this month. It has since been viewed almost 16 million times.

 

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