Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Leading human rights activist shot in Burundi's capital

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Migrant Crisis: The Blame Game

Read more

THE DEBATE

Kerry Middle East Tour

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Greek shares plunge as trading resumes in Athens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Gulf countries need proof and guarantees'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The deadly French-English border'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#CecilTheLion : Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Erdogan’s gamble: Turkey launches offensives on PKK and Islamic State Group (part 2)

Read more

Africa

Man arrested over murder of Tunisian MP Brahmi

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-10-23

Tunisian security forces arrested a suspect in the murder of opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi after a fierce gunbattle during an overnight raid on a militant hideout, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

Brahmi was the second of two opposition politicians to be assassinated last year by suspected jihadists as Islamist violence rocked the North African country, which was the birthplace of the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011.

The security forces “surrounded a house [near the capital Tunis] where a terrorist group had holed up. Following a sustained exchange of fire, four elements were arrested”, interior ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told AFP.

“Among them is Hmed el-Melki, alias ‘Somali,’ one of the elements implicated in the assassination of the martyr Mohamed Brahmi,” he said. He did not reveal the identities of the other suspects but added that weapons were seized during the raid.

“The interior ministry stresses that it was a successful operation,” he said.

The announcement came after the government said on Tuesday that the suspected Islamist assassin of opposition politician Chokri Belaid had been killed in a police raid.

Gunmen killed Belaid on February 6 and Brahmi on July 25, both of them outside their homes.

Authorities blamed the murders on the Ansar Al-Sharia, a jihadist group accused of links to al Qaeda, but the group never claimed responsibility for those or any other attacks.

Belaid was a charismatic leftist politician and virulent critic of the Islamist party Ennahda, then in power. His murder triggered massive anti-government protests and a crisis from which Tunisia has only recently started to emerge.

The two assassinations eventually forced Ennahda to relinquish power in January, in the face of accusations from the mainly secular opposition that it had failed to tackle a surge of Islamist extremism since the Arab Spring revolution of 2011.

Ennahda won Tunisia’s first free elections in October 2011, following an uprising that ousted President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

Speaking before the police raid on Monday, Belaid’s widow Basma Khalfaoui accused Ennahda of hiding key documents in the murder inquiry. She said she was expecting strong measures from a government of independents that replaced the Islamist-led administration late last month.

“We don’t know anything (about what really happened). All scenarios are possible,” she told AFP.

Brahmi’s widow, speaking on Saturday during a rally marking the first anniversary of Belaid’s funeral, accused the authorities of having “done everything to wipe out the traces of the crime”.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-02-09

  • TUNISIA

    Questions remain as Tunisia marks year since Belaid murder

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Opposition figure Belaid's 'assassin' killed, says Tunisia

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Tunisia approves groundbreaking new constitution

    Read more

COMMENT(S)