Tunisia lifts night curfew after exhibition-linked riots


Tunisia has lifted a night-time curfew which was imposed earlier this week after riots by Salafi Islamists and others over an art exhibition they deemed insulting to Islam.

One man died in the unrest which erupted in Tunis on Tuesday and started spreading to other parts of the country.

There had been fears of further trouble yesterday after Salafi leaders, following a puritanical interpretation of Islam, and the ruling moderate Islamist Ennahda party both called for protests in defence of religion.

The protests were called off at the last minute yesterday after the interior ministry refused to issue licences to march organisers.

Security forces deployed in large numbers yesterday around the Fateh Mosque, which is dominated by Salafis, but worshippers went home peacefully after prayers.

“After the improvement in the security situation and considering the interests of citizens, the ministry of interior and national defence has decided to end the curfew,” the interior ministry later said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The riots were some of the worst since last year’s revolt ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and launched uprisings across the Arab world. – (Reuters)