Protesters scramble in the streets of Tunis yesterday during nationwide protests at the assassination of opposition Popular Front leader Chokri Belaid.Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid has been shot dead outside his home, prompting thousands of Tunisians to protest in the capital and across the country, torching ruling party offices in several towns and chanting “the government should fall.”
In Tunis thousands of people flooded the central Habib Bourguiba Avenue, close to the tree-lined boulevard, where violent anti-government protests were raging two years ago, when the so-called Arab Sprig was ignited.
Flocking to the Interior Ministry office, protesters were chanting "The people want the fall of the regime!"
Security forces cordoned off the area.
As an ambulance carrying Belaid's body was driven in front of the ministry, hundreds of mourners crowded around the vehicle.
Calls for a second revolution were heard from the crowd.
Police responded to mass gathering in Tunis with teargas and warning shots. One officer has already lost his life in a violent clash with the people. There have also been reports that an ambulance was teargased.
Further protests have erupted in more than 12 towns and cities across Tunisia.
Rubber bullets and tear gas were also used to contain the crowds in Sidi Bouzid, central Tunisia, the birthplace of last year’s revolution.
A local man placed the number protesting at “more than 4,000” in Sidi Bouzid, according to Reuters. He said that many were “burning tires and throwing stones at the police.”
A picture taken on December 29, 2010 shows Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid. (AFP Photo)Some 200 protesters attacked the police station in the central town of Sidi Bouzid. Police had to fire teargas to force the crowd back.
Angry crowds set fire to or vandalized HQs of the ruling Ennahda party in the capital Tunis and in several cities around the country.
Amid raging mass protests, the Tunisian opposition has announced in a statement he suspension of its membership in the constituent assembly. It has also called for a general strike on Chokri Belaid’s funeral.
Four opposition parties have followed in their steps and announced the suspension of their membership in Tunisia's constituent assembly as well. They have also joined calls for a strike to protest the assassination of the prominent leader.
Later Tunisian prime minister said he was going to dissolve government and form a national unity cabinet consisting of non-partisan technocrats.