Tunisia President Vows Crackdown on Extremists after Attack on American School in Tunis
Only weeks after the US embassy and a neighbouring American school were torched by protesters in Tunis, newly elected Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has vowed to crack down on Islamist extremists who he says provoked the attacks. Speaking in New York the Tunisian leader said that whilst he did not consider the extremist elements to be a threat to democracy, incidents such as these damaged the country's international standing. Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki "They see (Tunisian government) by themselves that Salafis are not dangerous for our democracy, but they are also very harmful for our image abroad, and now for the relationship with our friends, mainly with Americans, and now they consider that they have to take (inaudible) appropriate measures." Since the fall of secular dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last year, groups of religious fundamentalists known as Salafis have been reportedly causing havoc across the country. Responding to fears that the planned crackdown could escalate into further violence, the president insisted that the rule of law and human rights would be respected. Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki "We have had a meeting two months ago with the military and with police forces and I said look, if we had to have any crackdown on Salafis, you must be very very careful about respecting human rights, about avoiding all kinds of torture, about staying in the framework of the law because I wouldn't accept at any cost to be another a new Ben Ali ...