Bloomberg News

Tunisian Salafis Attack Police Station in Protest After Art Show

June 12, 2012

Tunisian police clashed with ultra- traditionalist Muslims in the capital, firing tear gas and warning shots after the protesters attacked a security building and a court house, officials said.

The disturbances, in which 90 people were arrested, were the latest in an increasing number of incidents over the past few weeks linked to the Salafis, who view even the moderate Islamist government in Tunisia as running afoul of true Islamic doctrines.

The unrest broke out after the Salafis yesterday protested against an art exhibition they deemed offensive to Muslims. Protesters attacked a police station and a courthouse in the working class district of Ettadamen and set fire to tires, while security forces responded with tear gas and warning shots to disperse the crowd, Interior Ministry spokesman Lotfi Hidouri said.

The clashes were the first between authorities and the Salafis since Interior Minister Ali Laaraidh last month pledged to fully implement the country’s emergency laws, which allow the use of live rounds against protesters.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jihen Laghmari in Cairo at jlaghmari@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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