Tunisian opposition leader shot dead

February 06, 2013 - 12:30:18 pm

A picture taken on December 29, 2010 shows Tunisian lawyer and human rights activist Chokri Belaid speaking as he attends a meeting along with other lawyers in Tunis to express their solidarity with the residents of SidiBouzid. AFP photo / Fethi Belaid


TUNIS: Leading leftist opposition leader Chokri Belaid was shot dead Wednesday morning as he left his home in Tunis, said his family, which accused Tunisia's ruling Ennahda party of being behind the killing.


Belaid was head of the opposition Democratic Patriots party and a harsh critic of Tunisia's Islamist-led government.


"My brother was assassinated. I am desperate and depressed," AbdelmajidBelaid, brother of the dead leader, told AFP.


"I accuse ... (Ennahda leader) Rached Ghannouchi of assassinating my brother," he said.


The wife of the opposition leader, speaking to Radio Mosaique, said he had been hit by two bullets as he left his home.


Belaid's party was part of a coalition of parties which has emerged in opposition to the Tunisia government.


The country is witnessing a rise in violence fed by political and social discontent more than two years after the toppling of the former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.


Several opposition parties and trade unions have accused the pro-Islamists of orchestrating clashes or attacks against them. (AFP)