Tunisian interim PM blames "extremist parties" for recent violence

15:24, July 19, 2011      

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Tunisia's interim prime minister Beji Caid Essebsi on Monday blamed the recent violence across the country on "extremist parties" in a statement broadcast on television.

He said extremists are trying to prevent the elections from taking place, adding that the recent attempted sit-in on Saturday at the Kasbah, in front of the prime minister's office, was illegal and didn't enjoy the support of the Tunisian people.

Organized violent gangs are behind the current unrest, he said, adding that there was a "strategy" to destabilize the country and to thwart the forthcoming elections.

He said the government will make sure the elections takes place on Oct. 23, "whatever happens."

"On the day the Constituent Assembly is elected, this government will leave," said Essebsi.

Over the weekend, acts of violence have been reported throughout the country. On Monday, the official press agency TAP said that a 14-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet in the southern town of Sidi Bouzid in overnight clashes between security forces and protesters.

On Saturday, a group of protesters burned down a police station in the northern town of Menzel Bourguiba, injuring six policemen, four of whom are reported in critical condition. A number of arms were also seized, TAP reported.

Source: Xinhua
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