Protesters force Tunisian leaders from police memorial ceremony

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Protesting security forces members on Friday drove Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki and Prime Minister Ali Larayedh away from a memorial ceremony for two slain policeman, an Agence France-Presse photographer said.

The two leaders were told to “Get out” by security forces, some of whom were in uniform.

The ceremony was held at military barracks in the Tunis suburb of L’Aouina.

Marzouki and Larayedh, as well as parliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar, left after about 20 minutes of jeers from the crowd, without any of them addressing the gathering, AFP reported.

“We won’t accept the presence of politicians,” shouted one of the protesters, who carried placards demanding laws to protect the police.

Only Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou, was able to attend the ceremony for the two men killed on Thursday by an armed group in the Neja region, 70 kilometers west of Tunis.

“We are all against terrorism. This is a war, and we will not give up,” he said in a short speech.

Earlier, the Interior Ministry said security forces had killed several members of the group suspected of carrying out Thursday’s attack.

In recent months, security force unions have demonstrated against the perceived lack of recourses made available to them to battle Tunisia’s jihadist movement, which has been on the rise since the 2011 revolution.

(With AFP)

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