URGENT ¥¥¥ Tunisia opposition parties pull out of assembly, call strike

Four Tunisian opposition groups, including the Popular Front of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid, announced Wednesday they were pulling out of the national assembly and called for a general strike.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the four political groupings after Belaid's murder earlier on Wednesday, said Nejib Chebbi, a leader of one of the groups, the Republican Party.

The other groups were Call of Tunisia, Al Massar and the Popular Front, an alliance of leftist and pan-Arab parties Belaid helped to form last year and which presents itself as an alternative to the Islamist-led ruling coalition.