TUNIS, Oct 13, 2012 (AFP) -
TUNIS, Oct 13, 2012 (AFP) –
The US envoy to Tunisia is calling for the trial of those behind a September attack on the American embassy during riots over a US-made film mocking Islam.
Ambassador Jacob Walles, in a letter to appear in the Tunisian press on Sunday, said the “government has an obligation to provide security for its citizens and its guests.”
He called on it to “carry through with its investigation and to bring the perpetrators and masterminds of this attack to justice.”
And he urged Tunisia’s people to “speak out against violence and terror and to play an active role in shaping the future,” saying “continued cooperation and investment in Tunisia requires a safe and secure operating environment.”
On September 14, deadly clashes broke out between security forces and protesters, most of them appearing to be Salafists angry over the film.
Some protesters hurled petrol bombs and then stormed the sprawling embassy complex before police fired live rounds and tear gas to drive them away.
Four people were killed and 49 hurt in the violence.
Walles said the the attackers inflicted millions of dollars of damage to the compound and burned more than 100 vehicles.
At the nearby American Cooperative School of Tunis, he said they destroyed, looted, and burned books, musical instruments and computers.
But Walles said the attackers did not damage US commitment to supporting transition “from an unjust dictatorship to a free and tolerant democracy that provides security, economic opportunity and freedom to everyone.”
The ruling Islamist party Ennahda has been strongly criticised for failing to clamp down on Tunisia’s Muslim extremists, who have carried out numerous acts of violence since last year’s revolution that ousted former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
At least 87 people have so far been arrested over the incidents.