Tunisia crisis: Protesters call for Ennahda resignation

Protesters in Tunis (7 September 2013)

The protest marked a 40-day mourning period since opposition leader Mohammed Brahmi was shot dead outside his house on 25 July

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Tens of thousands of demonstrators have marched in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, calling for the resignation of the Islamist-led government.

The rally marked a 40-day mourning period since the killing of opposition MP Mohammed Brahmi in July.

His murder, along with the shooting of another prominent leftist politician in February, have sparked mass protests.

Talks between the opposition and the ruling Ennahda party have so far failed to achieve a major breakthrough.

The moderate Islamist government has blamed Salafist hardliners for the killings of Mr Brahmi and secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

The opposition coalition, led by the National Salvation Front (NSF), has accused Ennahda of failing to rein in radical Islamists and improve the faltering economy.

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Thousands chant in protest at slain Tunisian’s funeral

A supporter of the Islamist Ennahda movement holds up a scarf as he chants slogans during a demonstration in Tunis July 26, 2013. REUTERS-Zoubeir Souissi

A supporter of the Islamist Ennahda movement holds up a scarf as he chants slogans during a demonstration in Tunis July 26, 2013. REUTERS-Zoubeir Souissi

(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Tunisians turned out for the funeral of assassinated secular politician Mohamed Brahmi on Saturday, and called for the Islamist-led government to be toppled.

Military helicopters hovered overhead and hundreds of troops and police lined the route of a procession attended by Brahmi’s widow and son and several prominent politicians.

Tunisian soldiers stand guard during a protest of Tunis July 26, 2013. REUTERS-Anis Mili

Tunisian soldiers stand guard during a protest of Tunis July 26, 2013. REUTERS-Anis Mili

“The people want to topple the regime!” and “With our blood and with our souls we will sacrifice ourselves for the martyr!” people in the crowd shouted.

“Ghannouchi, assassin, criminal,” others chanted, referring to Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the ruling Islamist Ennahda party that Brahmi’s family says was behind the killing.

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