Tunisia police launch manhunt for killer of opposition politician

TUNIS Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:53am EST

Tunisians chant slogans and hold pictures of assassinated leftist politician Chokri Belaid during a demonstration against the Islamist Ennahda movement in Tunis February 23, 2013. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunisians chant slogans and hold pictures of assassinated leftist politician Chokri Belaid during a demonstration against the Islamist Ennahda movement in Tunis February 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Zoubeir Souissi

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TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian police have identified the killer of an opposition politician, whose assassination this month sparked protests across the country, and have begun a manhunt, Prime Minister-designate Ali Larayedh said on Tuesday.

A security source said on Monday an extremist Islamist had been arrested in connection with the killing of Chokri Belaid on February 6 which ignited the biggest street protests since the overthrow of strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali two years ago.

Larayedh told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday that police had arrested three people belonging to the hardline Salafist movement. "Now we have identified the killer of Belaid and he is on the run. The police are looking for him," he said.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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