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Tunisia mass protests: LIVE UPDATES

Published time: February 06, 2013 11:52
Edited time: February 07, 2013 17:09
Tunisian people shout slogans during a rallye in front of Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)

Tunisian people shout slogans during a rallye in front of Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)

The assassination of the Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid has sparked mass protests in the capital, Tunis, and in several cities across the country.

­13:07 GMT: Tunisian police deployed teargas in the southern city of Gafsa to disperse hundreds of men who had gathered to protest the killing of Belaid. Protesters continued to throw stones and chant slogans as police fired teargas to break up the violent demonstration.

­February 7

Belaid, who was leader of Tunisia’s Democratic Patriotic Party, was killed as he was leaving his house in Tunis, the country’s capital.cabinet

­19:41 GMT: Policeman has been killed in violent clashes with protesters, the country’s Interior ministry said.

­18:50 GMT: The Tunisian prime minister said he is going to dissolve the government and form a national unitycabinet.

­15:40 GMT: Four opposition parties have suspended their membership in Tunisia's constituent assembly and have called for a strike, AFP reports.

A riot police officer faces off with protesters during a demonstration in Tunis February 6, 2013. (Reuters / Zoubeir Souissi)
A riot police officer faces off with protesters during a demonstration in Tunis February 6, 2013. (Reuters / Zoubeir Souissi)
A Tunisian protester jumps amid smoke after police fired tear gas during a rallye outside the Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013 in Tunis. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)
A Tunisian protester jumps amid smoke after police fired tear gas during a rallye outside the Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013 in Tunis. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)

­14:52GMT: Tunisian opposition announces suspension of its membership in the constituent assembly, Reuters reports.

14:49 GMT: Tunisian Opposition calls for a general strike on Chokri Belaid funeral, Al Arabiya reports.

A Tunisian protester removes barbed wire during a rallye outside the Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)
A Tunisian protester removes barbed wire during a rallye outside the Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)

­14:26 GMT: Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki says the assassination of opposition leader Chokri Belaid will not derail transition to democracy in the country, AP reports.

Tunisian people shout slogans during a rallye in front of Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)
Tunisian people shout slogans during a rallye in front of Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)
Tunisian people shout slogans during a rallye in front of Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)
Tunisian people shout slogans during a rallye in front of Interior ministry to protest after Tunisian opposition leader and outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid was shot dead with three bullets fired from close range, on February 6, 2013. (AFP Photo / Fethi Belaid)

­14:06 GMT: People are running away after police spread teargas to disperse thousands of protesters who gathered in near the Interior Ministry building in Tunis.

The note reads ‘Teargas’ in French.

­The ruling Ennahda party’s HQ in the Tunisian coastal city of Monastir.

­13:27 GMT: Calls for a second revolution have been heard from the crowd in front of the Interior Ministry. The protesters are chanting “We are all Chokri,” “O Chokri, O martyr, we will follow your path," and “Terrorism, bullets, Tunisians are fearless”.

­13:00 GMT: French President Francois Hollande has condemned the shooting of a prominent Tunisian, expressing his concern with “the mounting political violence in Tunisia.”

12:50 GMT:  The ruling Ennahda party that heads Tunisia's governing coalition has said it had nothing to do with the assassination of Chokri Belaid, Reuters reports.

­12:30 GMT: Residents report communications network malfunctions in the capital.

12:25 GMT: In the city of Sidi Bouzid police are firing teargas at protesters, AFP reports. Some 200 protesters attacked the police station in the central town of Sidi Bouzid. Police fired teargas to force the crowd back.

­12:10 GMT: Witnesses report communications network malfunctions in the capital.

­ 12:08 GMT: Tunisia police fire tear gas and warning shots near Interior Ministry, Al Jazeera reports.

12:03 GMT: Some protesters have tried to charge wire fences surrounding the ministry, TunisiaLive reports.

11:55 GMT: The Ennahda ruling party’s offices have been torched in several cities across Tunisia, according to the Interior Minister.

11:40 GMT: In Gafsa Governorate, central Tunisia, people stormed have stormed Ennahda’s local branch office. Protesters are making their way to the local governor’s office, TunisaLive reports.

11:15 GMT: Thousands of protesters gathered in the Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid, cradle of the Arab Spring uprisings. "More than 4,000 are protesting now, burning tires and throwing stones at the police," Reuters reports, citing a local man.

11:10 GMT: The number of protesters continues to grow. The Popular Front coalition has joined the protest. 

(Image from twitter.com user@Onsendipity)
(Image from twitter.com user@Onsendipity)

10:50 GMT: More protesters are flocking from Liberté Street to the Interior Ministry building to join the mass of protesters.  

10:11 GMT: Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid has been shot dead outside his home. Thousands of Tunisians gathered for the mass protest in front of the Interior Ministry and in many others towns. Cries of “the government should fall” have been heard.

Forensic inspectors examine the car of prominent Tunisian opposition politician Shokri Belaid, who was shot dead outside his home, in Tunis February 6, 2013. (Reuters / Zoubeir Souissi)
Forensic inspectors examine the car of prominent Tunisian opposition politician Shokri Belaid, who was shot dead outside his home, in Tunis February 6, 2013. (Reuters / Zoubeir Souissi)

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