Opposition politician Mohammed Brahmi was shot and killed today. Gunmen on a motorcycle shot the 58 year old Brahmi outside of his home in Tunis. He was shot while in his vehicle as his wife and their daughter helplessly watched. It has been reported that 11 rounds were fired at the politician. Mr. Brahmi had led the Movement of the People party.
The ruling party Ennahda released this statement “cowardly and despicable crime” and urging the government to “arrest those who committed this crime and reveal those behind them who have targeted the stability of the country.”
This is the second killing of an opposition party leader this year. In February politician Chokri Belaid was shot outside of his home, also in Tunis.
Tunis is known as the birthplace of the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring sprang from revolutions starting in Tunisa in 2010. A lowered economy and an
extremist Islamic movement are said to have created unrest among the Tunisian people.
People are protesting this latest killing. Crowds have gathered in areas around Tunis. Burning tires can be seen in some places. A crowd outside of the Interior of Ministry is calling for a government downfall.
The murder comes on the heels of a new constitution.It has been written and should have a vote within a few weeks.
Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi has said “Tunisia was getting ready to crown its efforts to complete its transition, it was the last candle still lit. The enemies of democracy want to snuff it out to enmesh Tunisia in the troubles found in the other countries of the Arab Spring.” Tunisia was celebrating the 56th anniversary of gaining its independence from France.
Government sources are blaming the assassination of Mr. Belaid on Islamist extremists but as of yet they have not commented on who may be responsible for Mr. Brahmi’s murder today.
The unrest in this part of the world has been ongoing. The ousting of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, who was Egypt’s first freely elected president has helped fuel fire in the Islamic world. Supported by the Muslim Brotherhood Morsi’s removal by military forces has set tensions high.
Now that Mohammed Brahmi has been shot and killed so closely to the assassination of Chokri Belaid it would appear that the unrest is far from over.
Written by Kevin Reid