Tunisia, in crisis, girds for new chaos at funeral

Associated Press
A relative of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid cries over his coffin at his parents' home near Tunis, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. The Islamist party dominating Tunisia's ruling coalition on Thursday rejected its own prime minister's decision to form a non-partisan technocratic government to try to appease critics, signaling that the political crisis brought on by the assassination of Belaid, a prominent leftist politician, is far from over. (AP Photo/Amine Landoulsi)

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The funeral for a leading leftist politician assassinated in Tunisia is expected to draw waves of mourners, and many fear that a national strike the same day could touch off riots nationwide in the country that started the Arab Spring.

The family and allies of Chokri Belaid accuse the ruling part of complicity in his Wednesday killing, and although they have offered no proof the allegations have sharply raised tensions ahead of Friday's funeral. The country's main labor union has called a general strike for the first time in 35 years, raising fears of nationwide confrontations.

Tunisia's prime minister offered to replace the government after Belaid's killing, but that attempt may have backfired as his own ruling Islamist part rejected his decision.

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