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PHOTOS: Tunisia in 2013: A Rough Year

The year 2013 was a rough year for Tunisia: two political assassinations, protests, military and security forces targeted by armed groups and a never ending political crisis.

On February 6, Chokri Belaid a leading member of the opposition and a staunch critic of Tunisia's Islamists was gunned down outside his home. His family accused the ruling Islamist party Ennahdha Movement, while the government laid the blame on Ansar al-Sharia.

Thousands Attended Funeral of Belaid on February 8 in Tunis. Photo Credit: Elyes Jaziri

Thousands Attended Funeral of Belaid on February 8 in Tunis. Photo Credit: Elyes Jaziri (used with permission)

Protester Holding Tunisian Flag at Belaid Funeral. Photo Credit: Elyes Jaziri (used with permission)

Protester Waving Tunisian Flag at Belaid Funeral. Photo Credit: Elyes Jaziri (used with permission)

As news of Belaid's assassination spread, protesters took to the streets of Tunisia, clashing with police and torching Ennahdha offices.

Police Fired Tear Gas to Disperse an Anti Government Protest on February 6. Photo Credit: Amine Ghrabi

Police Fired Tear Gas to Disperse an Anti Government Protest on February 6. Photo Credit: Amine Ghrabi

On Republic Day [July 25], anti-government protests had once again rocked the country following a second assassination in the span of less than six months. Mohamed Brahmi, an opposition member at the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) was gunned down outside his home in broad day light. Brahmi's family and the opposition also blamed Ennahdha. The latter denied any involvement.

Mohamed Brahmi Laid to Rest on July 27. Photo Credit: Lilia Blaise

Mohamed Brahmi Laid to Rest on July 27. Photo Credit: Lilia Blaise

Following Brahmi's assassination, rival protests were held and Tunisia plunged into a political crisis that lasted for months.

Pro Government Protesters Gathered Outside PM's Office on August 6. Photo Credit: Ennahdha's Facebook Page

Pro Government Protesters Gathered Outside PM's Office on August 6. Photo Credit: Ennahdha's Facebook Page

Protesters Calling for the Departure of the Government and the Dissolving of the Constituent Assembly (NCA)  Form a Human Chain Bewteen the PM's Office and NCA Headquarters on August 31. Photo Credit: Amine Ghrabi

Protesters Calling for the Departure of the Government and the Dissolving of the Constituent Assembly (NCA) Form a Human Chain Between the PM's Office and NCA Headquarters on August 31. Photo Credit: Amine Ghrabi

In 2013, Tunisia had also witnessed an increase in armed militancy targeting armed and security forces. Throughout the year, Tunisian authorities had been hunting for armed groups in the mountainous area of Chaambi, some 290 kilometers from the capital Tunis, where mine explosions left several injuries and deaths among the military and police.

On July 30, eights soldiers were killed in an ambush in Chaambi, leaving the nation in shock.

Candles Lit to Pay Homage to Soldiers Killed in Chaambi. Photo Credit: Seif Allah Bouneb

Candles Lit to Pay Homage to Soldiers Killed in Chaambi. Photo Credit: Seif Allah Bouneb

In late August, the Tunisian government listed Ansar al-Sharia Tunisia (AST) as a “terrorist organization”, blaming it for the assassination of Belaid and Brahmi and linking it to armed groups operating on Mount Chaambi. AST is a radical Islamist group demanding the implementation of Islamic law in Tunisia.

Police Implementing a Government Ban on AST Congress on May 19 in Kairouan. Photo Credit Nawaat

Police Implementing a Government Ban on AST Congress on May 19 in Kairouan. Photo Credit: Nawaat

In October, eight security officers had also been killed during clashes with gunmen in Sidi Ali Ben Aoun (province of Sidi Bouzid) and Gboullat (province of Beja). During the same month, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a beach in the resort city of Sousse. The suicide bomber only killed himself and left no deaths or injuries.

As 2013 was coming to an end, Mehdi Jomma, the Industry Minister in the current three-party coalition government, was nominated as the new PM, following talks between the opposition and the government.

Meanwhile, the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) is set to adopt a constitution and put in place an election board tasked with organizing presidential and parliamentary elections in mid January. Will 2014 bring an end to Tunisia's political crisis and crown a three-year long democratic transition with free and fair elections? Only time will tell.

In this Cartoon by Le Bulle de Dlog, 2013 is Wishing 2014 "Good Luck.

In this Cartoon by La Bulle de Dlog, 2013 is Wishing 2014 “Good Luck.

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