Tunisian police used tear gas to disperse a group of protestors trying to break into Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi’s office, in the center of the capital Tunis on Friday.
Protests have rocked Tunisia since a private TV station broadcast an animated movie which portrayed God in one of its scenes which was deemed blasphemous by conservatives. Violent scenes have been witnessed outside the TV station where protestors have expressed their anger at the screening of the movie.
Protests have also been taking place in other parts of Tunis.
Friday’s demonstration, which was the largest staged by Islamists to date, began peacefully with tens of thousands demanding Islamic law to be enforced in Tunisia.
However, when some of the protesters tried to break the police barricade surrounding the prime minister’s office, police dispersed the crowd by using tear gas, to which the crowd responded by hurling stones at them.
The riots coincide with elections scheduled to take place on October 23rd, against a backdrop of growing tension between Islamists, who now have more liberty to express their ideologies, and secularists keen to steer their country on a liberal path.
The elections will be the first since President Zine Abidine Ben Ali was ousted from power in January. Tunisia is regarded as the birthplace of the Arab Spring, which has seen a wave of popular unrest sweep the region.