Islamists attack Tunisia hotel bar: witnesses

Islamist activists raided the last working bar in the central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid on Monday, smashing bottles and chasing away customers, witnesses said.

Around 50 activists burst into the bar in the Hotel Horchani in the center of town, customers and staff told AFP.

Bearded men then raided the reception and the upstairs rooms of the hotel, the last in Sidi Bouzid to serve alcohol, some of them shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) and "Al-Saharab haram" (drinking is a sin).

A young man who tried to film the raid was beaten by members of the group and taken to an unknown location, as angry hotel guests gathered at the scene.

The sale and consumption of alcohol is regulated but legal in Tunisia, traditionally a popular destination for tourists, especially from France.

Sidi Bouzid, the birthplace of the uprising that toppled veteran strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last year, is a stronghold of the Salafi movement, which has grown increasingly assertive in recent months.

The North African country has witnessed numerous violent incidents linked to the hardliners, prompting opposition activists to accuse the Islamist-led coalition government of not doing enough to rein them in.

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