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Prominent Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaid shot dead

Members of his party say he was shot four times, in the head and chest, coming out of his home today.

Chokri Belaid, seen above in 2010, was shot dead in front of his home in Tunis on Wednesday.
Chokri Belaid, seen above in 2010, was shot dead in front of his home in Tunis on Wednesday.

TUNIS // Chokri Belaid, a prominent secular opponent of the moderate Islamist-led government in Tunisia, died in hospital after being shot in front of his home in Tunis today.

The killing shook Tunis as hundreds of people took to the streets before noon to protest against the killing.

"Chokri Belaid was killed today by four bullets to the head and chest ... doctors told us that he has died. This is a sad day for Tunisia," Ziad lakhader, a leader of the Popular Front party told Reuters. Other party sources confirmed his death.

Belaid was a leading member of the Popular Front party and a staunch opponent of the government of the Islamic Ennahda party, which leads a coalition following Tunisia's first post-Arab Spring election in October 2011.

The Tunisian prime minister, Hamadi Jebali, condemned the killing, saying it was a political assassination and a blow to the Arab Spring revolution.

He said the identity of the killer was unknown.

"The murder of Belaid is a political assassination and the assassination of the Tunisian revolution. By killing him they wanted to silence his voice," said Jebali, who heads the government led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party which won Tunisia's first post-Arab Spring election in 2011.

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