Tunisia stability threatened by murder: Islamist party

Tunisia stability threatened by murder: Islamist party
Tunisia's Islamist movement warned the latest murder of the group's sympathiser, Mohamed Zaouari could fuel unrest in the country.
2 min read
17 December, 2016
The Islamist party condemned the murder [AFP]

The murder of an engineer in Tunisia has endangered the country's stability, the country's Ennahda Islamist party has warned.

Some have blamed Israel for the murder of Mohammed al-Zouari - a 49-year-old engineer due to his alleged links to Hamas but others believe it could be a domestic terrorism incident.

Zouari was shot dead in his car parked outside his home in Sfax, but Tunisia's second-largest party fear the killing could be politically motivated and threaten the fragile peace in the post-Arab Spring state already fraught with division.

"[It] poses a threat to the security of Tunisians and the stability of Tunisia", it said in a statement.

At least five suspects have been detained in Sfax, Tunis and Djerba, and four vehicles seized along with two guns equipped with silencers, the interior ministry said.

Private radio station Mosaique FM reported that Zouari's body was riddled with 20 bullets, in what was believed to be a murder although authorities have not ruled out terrorism.

Local media said the victim was an Islamist sympathiser who had spent many years living abroad.

A similar murder in 2013 of two leading opposition figures, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, plunged Tunisia into political crisis and led to the resignation of the government, led at the time by Ennahdha.

In August, Tunisia's Ennahda group,  the largest in parliament, it has "some reservations" about the line-up of the country's new unity government announced the previous day.

"We have some observations and reservations to pass on to the head of the government-designate," Abdelkarim Harouni, head of the party's top body the Shura Council, told reporters.

The Islamist Ennahda movement, which was banned under the country' long-time dictator Zine el-Abdine Ben Ali, announced earlier this year it would become a strictly political party and leave proselytising and other social activities to civil society organisations.