Hundreds Rally in Tunisian March Against Violence

Posted July 21st, 2011 at 10:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Hundreds of Tunisians have rallied in the capital, Tunis, to denounce “violence and chaos” following a wave of protests during the past few days, including one that resulted in the accidental shooting death of a 14-year-old boy.

Nearly a dozen political parties organized Thursday's march, calling for a peaceful democratic transition.

The rally did not include the Islamist Ennahdha party, considered to be a moderate organization but blamed by some for fomenting trouble. The group denies any role in the recent violence.

Tunisians fear the clashes may wreck their hopes for democracy. Some believe cronies of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali or other groups are attempting to derail the democratic process.

Authorities said the 14-year-old was killed by a stray bullet when police fired to break up a violent protest in the town of Sidi Bouzid on Sunday. Two other people were wounded in the clash.

In December, a 26-year-old unemployed university graduate set himself on fire in the town after police confiscated his produce.

The resulting riots over food prices and high unemployment sparked what is known as the Arab Spring, which has led to citizens calling for reforms in a number of North African and Middle Eastern countries.