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Tunisia says suspects held over Belaid killing

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Tunisian authorities have arrested suspects in this month's assassination of leading leftist opposition figure Chokri Belaid, the interior minister said.

"The investigation has progressed to the point that suspects have been arrested," Ali Larayedh told reporters, without specifying the number of people detained.

"The investigation has not led yet to identify the killer, those behind the murder and its motives," said Larayedh, refusing elaborate in line with a secrecy order.

Belaid, 48, was shot dead at close range by a lone, hooded gunman as he left his home in the capital Tunis on February 6.

His family blamed the ruling Ennahda party for being behind the killing, an accusation the Islamists have vehemently denied.

The assassination triggered days of unrest as people took to Habib Bourguiba Avenue, epicentre of the 2011 uprising that toppled ex-dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, deepening a long-running political crisis.

On the day of the murder, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali proposed the formation of a government of technocrats as a way out of the crisis, but the initiative was rejected by his own Ennahda party.

Jebali resigned on Tuesday, and the Islamist Ennahda was meeting on Thursday to choose a successor.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130221/tunisia-says-suspects-held-over-belaid-killing