UPDATE 1-Tunisian Islamists deny any role opponent's death

Wed Feb 6, 2013 8:17am EST

TUNIS Feb 6 (Reuters) - Tunisia's main Islamist party denied any role in the shooting of leading secular opposition figure Shokri Belaid, whose death on Wednesday prompted attacks on the governing party's offices.

"Ennahda is completely innocent of the assassination of Belaid ... Is it possible that the ruling party could carry out this assassination when it would (only) disrupt investment and tourism?" party president Rached Gannouchi told Reuters in an interview.

He blamed those seeking to derail Tunisia's democratic transition after a 2011 uprising.

"Tunisia today is in the biggest political stalemate since the revolution. We should be quiet and not fall into a spiral of violence. We need of unity more than ever," Gannouchi said.

He accused secular opponents stirring up sentiment against the party following Belaid's death.

"The result is burning and attacking the headquarters of our party in many areas," Gannouchi said, without elaborating. Witnesses told Reuters that crowds had attacked Ennahda offices in Sousse, Monastir, Mahdia and Sfax.

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