Tunisia's Islamist party denies it behind riots

July 19, 2011 17:32


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TUNIS - The leader of Tunisia's main Islamist political party on Tuesday denied any responsibility for the wave of violent protests in the capital and other cities in recent days.

Violence in Tunis and elsewhere, seen by the government as the work of Islamist youths, has claimed the life of one teen-aged boy and shaken the country six months after the revolution which toppled Tunisia's autocratic president.

Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Islamist Ennahda party, said he had not called for any demonstrations, including one in Tunis on Friday when police angered Muslims by firing tear gas into a mosque.

Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi on Monday blamed religious extremist parties for the violence, although he did not name any political party.

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