TUNIS Oct 31 A second man died on Wednesday of
wounds suffered when Tunisian police opened fire on hardline
Salafi Muslim protesters in the capital Tunis, the state news
A struggle over the role of religion in government and
society has emerged as the most divisive issue in Tunisia, for
decades seen as among the most secular in the Arab world, since
a popular uprising ended autocratic rule last year.
"A second man, named Khaled Karoui, died today of his wounds
after yesterday's clash ... in the Dawar Hicher (district of
Tunis)," TAP news agency said.
A security source said late on Tuesday that one person was
killed in clashes that followed an assault by hundreds of
Salafis on a police station to protest at the arrest of a Salafi
accused of attacking a police chief with a knife.
The violence was the latest sign of religious tension in the
North African state where the "Arab Spring" democracy movements
Tunisia, whose authoritarian president, Zine El Abidine Ben
Ali, was overthrown in a street revolt last year, now has an
elected Islamist-led government.
But friction has grown between Islamists and secularists
since the Islamist Ennahda Movement won an election.
Ennahdha, a moderate Islamic group, formed a coalition with
two non-religious parties and has promised not to ban alcohol,
impose the veil or use sharia as the basis of Tunisian law.
But it has come under pressure from both hardline Salafi
Muslims calling for the introduction of sharia and secular
opposition parties determined to prevent this.
(Reporting By Tarek Amara; editing by Mark Heinrich)