Four people were arrested and police were searching for others, Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh said on Radio Mosaique.
has been a resurgence of hardline Islamists since the fall in February
2011 of Tunisia’s autocratic leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had
jailed many Islamists and forced others underground.
TAP said 200
Salafis reacted violently to the arrest on Friday of a fellow Muslim
adhering to their brand of Islam. They threw Molotov cocktails and
stones at Jendouba’s national security headquarters, their numbers
growing to some 500 as they moved to the center of town. They set fire
to the police station and pillaged bars and stores where alcohol was
sold en route, some calling for a holy war.
As police used tear
gas, soldiers took up positions outside public buildings. The Salafis
eventually took refuge in a mosque, TAP said.
The violence came a
week after Salafis attacked bars and other places selling liquor in Sidi
Bouzid, the central western town where the spark of the Tunisian
revolution that triggered the Arab Spring was lit.
In a dramatic
display of force, hundreds of Salafis dressed in Afghan-style garb
gathered from several regions in the holy city of Kairouan last Sunday.
With some bearing sabers and astride horses, they carried out martial
arts exercises or rode around under the eye of Abu Yadh, whose real name
is Seifallah Ben Hassine. He was imprisoned under Ben Ali but pardoned
after his fall.
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