- 16 updates
Thousands of protesters, angered at the killing of opposition politician Chokri Belaid, gathered across Tunisia today.
Despite calls for calm from the authorities, 8,000 protesters massed outside the Interior Ministry in Tunis calling for the fall of the government, while thousands more demonstrated in cities including Mahdia, Sousse, Monastir and Sidi Bouzid.
There were reports that Tunisian police fired teargas to disperse protesters demonstrating in the capital.
The man who shot Tunisian opposition figure Chokri Belaid fled on a motorcycle ridden by an accomplice, authorities said.
"A man opened fire on Chokri Belaid and then fled with a second person who was waiting on a motorcycle," said interior ministry spokesman Khaled Tarouch.
Thousands of protesters gathered in Sidi Bouzid, cradle of the Arab Spring uprisings, after a Chokri Belaid, a prominent secular opponent of Tunisia's moderate Islamist-led government, was shot dead.
"More than four thousand are protesting now, burning tyres and throwing stones at the police," Mehdi Horchani, a Sidi Bouzid resident, told Reuters. "There is great anger".
French President Francois Hollande has condemned the shooting of a prominent Tunisian opposition figure, saying he was concerned by the rise of violence in France's former colony.
Chokri Belaid, a staunch secular opponent of the moderate Islamist-led government, died in hospital after being shot in Tunis.
"This murder deprives Tunisia of one of its most courageous and free voices," Hollande's office said in a statement.
"France is concerned by the mounting political violence in Tunisia and calls for the ideas cherished by the Tunisian people during their revolution to be respected."
Tunisian prime minister Hamadi Jebali has condemned the killing of prominent opposition politician Chokri Belaid, saying it was a political assassination and a blow to the Arab Spring revolution.
"By killing him they wanted to silence his voice," added Jebali, who heads the government led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party which won Tunisia's first post-Arab Spring election in 2011.
He said the identity of the killer was unknown.
The leader of a Tunisian opposition party has died in hospital after being shot outside his home in Tunis, the country's government said today.
Chokri Belaid was a prominent secular opponent of the moderate Islamist-led government in the country.
"Chokri Belaid was killed today by four bullets to the head and chest ... doctors told us that he has died. This is a sad day for Tunisia," Ziad lakhader, a leader of the Popular Front party told Reuters.