Protesters in Tunis call for government to go

AP News
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Posted: Oct 23, 2013 11:31 AM
Protesters in Tunis call for government to go

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Thousands of Tunisians marched through the capital Wednesday calling for the resignation of the Islamist-led government elected two years ago to the day.

The march comes as the ruling coalition and the opposition prepared to engage Wednesday in a national dialogue aimed at crafting a new government of technocrats within the next three weeks.

The technocratic government will have the task of overseeing upcoming elections.

The protesters fear the government, led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, won't keep its promise to resign as part of the dialogue process.

A faltering economy and the assassination of two left-wing politicians have been used as evidence by opposition of the government's failings.

As the birthplace of the 2011 Arab Spring revolts, Tunisia's rocky transition to democracy is being closely watched.

Later, Tunisia's state news agency said three members of the National Guard were killed and others wounded in a clash with militants in the south of the country.

Two militants were killed as well and two of the policemen were in serious condition.

The report said the National Guard members approached a house in the hills near the village of Sidi Ali Bououn, in the province of Sidi Bouzid, and were fired on.

The report did not say whether any of the militants had been captured.

Tunisia has been battling armed militants linked to al-Qaida for the last year. On Oct. 17, two policemen were killed in a clash with armed men in the northwest.