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In broad daylight, toddler murdered in front of her family in Tunisia

Published: Updated:

A 3-year-old girl was snatched from her mother and murdered in the Tunisian city of Kairouan by a man described by local media as "mentally ill."

The little girl, Maryam, who died instantly, was with her mother and three siblings on her way for a routine medical check-up in a nearby hospital.

Reports said that as soon as the mother with her four children tried to get out of a cab, the attacker approached her and snatched her daughter, who was holding her elder brother's hand and immediately slashed her throught in front of the family.

The mother who tried to reach out to her in an attempt to save her, was also attacked by the man until passers-by held him down.

The attacker is known to the local authorities as a mentally ill person and had previously attacked a child with a knife and was later released on grounds of his mental state.

This drew protests by angry Tunisians who gathered in front of the local authority's headquarters, denouncing the crime and questioning why a man with a criminal record was left free to roam the streets and not in a special facility to be treated.