Tunisian security distinguish facial features of Belaid’s alleged murderer

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Tunisian security sources revealed late on Monday that they were able to identify the facial features of the suspect allegedly involved in the assassination of Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaid, reported Al Arabiya.

An investigative team disseminated a rough picture depicting the suspect to security centers in a number of Tunisian cities and provinces to facilitate the arrest process, a source said.

Tunisian Interior Minister Ali Areed previously noted that the ministry holds important information regarding the crime but will not reveal details due to the “confidentiality of the investigations.” The minister strongly denied media reports saying that there are foreign teams aiding in the investigation.

However, the Popular Front (PF), a coalition of opposition groups of which Belaid was a member, had said earlier that it “lacks confidence” in the authorized investigative teams looking into Belaid’s case.

Belaid’s killing last week triggered three days of violent protests in which one policeman was killed and 59 others wounded, the interior ministry says.

Earlier on Monday, hundreds of Tunisians protested outside the national assembly demanding the government’s resignation, among them Belaid’s widow, Besma Khalfaoui.

“This government must resign today, not tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. It must not wait,” she told AFP.

“Those are the rules of the political game: when a government fails, it must take responsibility,” she added.

She also denounced the authorities’ failure to respond to her request for protection for her family.


Meanwhile, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki’s secular party said Monday it would stay in the ruling coalition, but maintained its call for key Islamist ministers to resign.

Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced plans to form a non-partisan government of technocrats by the middle of this week in the wake of public outrage at Belaid’s murder last Wednesday.


However, Jebali’s own party Ennahda, which heads the coalition government, has already rejected his plan for a technocrats’ government, exposing the divisions within the party where Jebali is considered a moderate.

Rached al Ghanouchi, head of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party, said that a new government will be announced within two or three days, but insisted that a government of technocrats will not succeed after being rejected by Tunisian political parties.

The center-left Congress for the Republic (CPR) had threatened to pull out of the Islamist-led government, which would have plunged the country deeper into political crisis.

But party chief Mohamed Abbou told reporters Monday: “we have decided to freeze our decision to withdraw our ministers from the government, but if in one week we don’t see any changes, we will quit the government.”

The CPR opposed PM Jebali’s plans to form a non-partisan government of technocrats, arguing it would allow the return of figures from the former regime of ousted president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, Abbou added

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