Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Areas of Tunis under curfew after Salafist violence

The Tunisian authorities have declared a nightly curfew in some areas in and around the capital Tunis after two days of street battles involving salafists during which about a hundred people were wounded, 65 of them policemen. According to the Algerian newspaper Al Watan 165 people have been arrested.
The main areas where the unrest broke out were western neighbourhoods of Tunis (Intilaka, Ettadhamen and Essijoumi), but also the more posh northern outskirts (La Marsa, Carthage, Le Kram), were affected. Riots were reported in the northwestern town Jendouba as well, where the Salafists set fire to police posts and attacked places that sold alcohol. The most severe incident was in the Essijoumi area of  Tunis, where a courthouse was attacked and the offices of the state prosecutor totally burnt down. 
The riots seem to have been provoked by an art exhibition, 'The Spring of the Arts'' (Printemps des arts) in La Marsa, which was judged blasphemic by the salafists. The exhibition in the Abdellia palace was attacked on two consecutive nights and some works of art were destroyed.

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