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Tunisian president rejects military intervention in Egypt

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki said on Thursday that the army's removal of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi was unacceptable and urged Egypt to guarantee Mursi's safety. But French President Francois Hollande declined at a joint news conference with Marzouki in Tunis to speak of a coup, saying merely that "the democratic process has stopped and must return". Marzouki said: "Military intervention is totally unacceptable and we call on Egypt to ensure that Mursi is physically protected."

Tunisia's Marzouki says no risk of Egypt contagion

President Moncef Marzouki on Thursday ruled out the risk of Tunisia's elected authorities being deposed, after Egypt's army ousted its head of state, while stressing the need to "pay attention" to popular demands. "Could Tunisia witness the same (Egyptian) scenario? I don't think so, because it's missing the fundamental ingredients. Here we have a professional, republican army that has never got mixed up with politics," he said.

Tunisia hunts al Qaeda-linked militants near Algeria

TUNIS (Reuters) - The Tunisian army and police force were hunting more than 30 suspected al-Qaeda linked militants close to the border with Algeria on Tuesday, and President Moncef Marzouki traveled to the area to oversee the operation in a signal of its importance. An Interior Ministry spokesman said there were about a dozen militants in the city of El Kef and about 20 in the remote area of Mount Chambi in the west of the country where police and militants have clashed regularly in recent weeks.

Tunisian president visits Algerian border where army is searching for militants

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia's president visited a mountainous area near the border with Algeria on Tuesday where the army was hunting Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda, his office said. "President Moncef Marzouki arrived Mount Chambi to raise the morale of soldiers and check on the conduct of pursuit operations there", an official in the president's office told Reuters.

Tunisian president targeted in no-confidence vote

A no-confidence vote against Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, under fire from the opposition for criticising "secular extremists," was filed in parliament on Tuesday, a lawmaker said. "I confirm to you that the no-confidence motion against interim President of the Republic Moncef Marzouki was filed at the registry of the NCA (National Constituent Assembly) with 77 signatures," Karima Souid said on Twitter and Facebook.

Tunisia recovers $29 million from Ben Ali's wife's account

Tunisia received $28.8 million on Thursday in the first such retrieval of what it calls looted assets held abroad by ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family.The state news agency TAP said a cheque in that amount had been handed to President Moncef Marzouki by Ali bin Fetais al-Marri, appointed by the United Nations to head efforts to recover money from leaders overthrown in Arab uprisings.

Tunisia recovers $29 million from Ben Ali's wife's account

Tunis (Reuters) - Tunisia received $28.8 million (18.6 million pounds) on Thursday in the first such retrieval of what it calls looted assets held abroad by ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family. The state news agency TAP said a cheque in that amount had been handed to President Moncef Marzouki by Ali bin Fetais al-Marri, appointed by the United Nations to head efforts to recover money from leaders overthrown in Arab uprisings.

Child rape protesters call on Tunisia minister to quit

Protesters on Monday demanded the resignation of Tunisia's minister for women's affairs, Sihem Badi, accusing her of defending a children's nursery where a three-year-old girl was raped. The protesters, among them relatives of the victim, gathered outside the ministry in Tunis shouting slogans against Badi, including "Minister of shame, get out!" and "Ministers who protect paedophiles have no place among us." The young girl was raped repeatedly by the caretaker of the nursery in La Marsa, an upscale suburb of the capital, according to the police.

Suspected Salafist killer of Tunisia politician identified

An alleged Salafist suspected of assassinating Tunisian politician Chokri Belaid earlier this month was identified by his own father on Thursday, confirming information AFP received from a judicial source. Taieb Gathgathi, from the northwestern region of Jendouba, said of his son Kamel: "From what I know of my son, I can say he is incapable of hurting a fly. "He is a good type, an angel on earth, but if he has committed a crime then I pray to God that justice is done," told private radio station Mosaique FM.

Tunisian president testifies in probe of politician's murder

TUNIS, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki testified on Thursday before a judge probing the murder of opposition leader Chokri Belaid, as police narrowed their hunt for his killer to an area near the border with Algeria. The shooting of secular politician Belaid by a suspected Islamist radical on Feb. 6 provoked the biggest street protests in Tunisia since the overthrow of strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali two years ago.
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