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US 'condemns' killing of Tunisia leader
February 06, 2013 , 9 : 11 pm
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Tunisian protesters clash with riot police during demonstration after death of Tunisian opposition leader Belaid, outside Interior ministry in Tunis. Reuters
: The United States on Wednesday denounced the killing of prominent Tunisian opposition figure Chokri Belaid, describing it as an "outrageous and cowardly act."
"The United States strongly condemns this morning's assassination of Chokri Belaid, a Tunisian political party leader and a prominent opposition figure under the (Zine El Abidine) Ben Ali regime," the embassy in Tunis said.
"There is no justification for this outrageous and cowardly act, and political violence has no place in Tunisia's democratic transition," it added.
The embassy urged Tunisia's Islamist-led government to conduct a "fair, transparent and professional investigation" into the killing, and bring those responsible to justice in accordance with Tunisian law and international norms.
Belaid, a prominent figure in the coalition of leftist opposition parties and an outspoken critic of the government, was gunned down as he left his home early on Wednesday.
The cold-blooded killing, which his family blamed on the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, sparked outrage, with thousands of people massing outside the interior ministry in the capital and other Tunisian cities.
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