Tunisian interim president extends state of emergency

10:24, July 28, 2011      

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Tunisia's interim president, Fouad Mebazaa indefinitely extended the state of emergency which has been in force since former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country on January 14, the country's official gazette reported on Wednesday.

The measure was taken as the country is struggling to contain sporadic acts of violence and to impose security in inner regions. It also comes days before the advent of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.

On October 23, Tunisians will vote for the election of the Constituent Assembly, a body tasked with the drafting of a new constitution that will determine Tunisia's new political system.

Meanwhile the trial of 23 relatives of the ousted president and wife, Leila Ben Ali, began on Tuesday. They were accused of attempting to flee the country in possession of large sums of foreign currency and jewelry.

The trial was postponed on Wednesday at the request of the defense.

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