TUNIS, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The assassination of a leading opposition leader sparked anger in Tunisia, with thousands of Tunisians taking to the streets Wednesday in protest.
Hours after news that opposition leader Chokri Belaid was shot dead Wednesday morning, thousands of Tunisians flocked to the capital's main avenue to denounce the politically-motivated assassination and demand the departure of the current Ennahdha-led government.
Belaid, a leader of the Popular Front, an alliance of left wing parties, was shot dead by two gunmen on motorcycle outside his home in Tunis Wednesday morning. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the killing.
Tension prevailed throughout Tunis as policemen were deployed around government buildings and set up checkpoints in key places.
In a statement released by Tunisian radio, the interior minister said the police were actively looking for those responsible for the killing.
He also confirmed that several buildings housing offices of Ennahdha, the ruling Islamist party, had been attacked nationwide.
Meantime, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki cut short his visit to France and cancelled a planned visit to Egypt after the incident.
For his part, Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali slammed the assassination of Belaid, saying that "the killing of Belaid is an assassination of Tunisian revolution."
"The identity of the killer is still unknown," Jebali said.
A number of political party leaders denounced the assassination, while a government spokesman, Samir Dilou, called Belaid's killing "a heinous crime."
Belaid, 49, was an outspoken critic of Ennahdha and had recently condemned political violence. The late leader slammed the current Islamist-led government for creating a climate of tension and violence in the country.