Tunisian police clash with hardline Islamists, one killed

By REUTERS
April 12, 2013 03:24

 
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Tunis - Police fired on Islamists attacking a police station in a southern Tunisian town, killing one person, a security source said, in the latest incident to raise religious tensions in the North African country.

Hundreds of Salafists - followers of a puritanical interpretation of Islam - protested in front of the police station in Hergla on Thursday after officers arrested some of their comrades who had attacked alcohol sellers in the city, police and witnesses said.

"Police fired bullets on the Salafists who attacked a police station in Hergla town and tried to burn it down, killing one person and wounding others," a security source said.

Salafist websites posted a photograph of a young man they said was killed by a bullet to the chest. Medical sources in Sahloul hospital in the nearby city of Sousse declined to comment. Interior Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

Since secular dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in the first "Arab Spring" uprising two years ago, Tunisia has seen mounting strife between secularists, who long held power, and Islamists, whose influence is increasing.

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