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Thousands protest in Tunisia over TV film

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Thousands protest in Tunisia over TV film

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Islamists have been demonstrating in Tunisia, after an animated film depicting an image of God was broadcast on television.

Some tried to break police lines in the capital Tunis and tear gas was used to disperse the crowds.

“We told them that the march is peaceful,” one demonstrator said. “We didn’t start the violence, and even when they started throwing tear gas we didn’t want to act.”

The film, which critics say is blasphemous, was aired by Nessma, a private Tunisian television channel. Court action is being taken over the broadcast.

“The subject of Nessma is in the hands of the judiciary,” one police officer said.

“If Tunisians believe in the fairness of the judiciary, why do they interfere with its work?”

The protests come ahead of a landmark election next week, when Tunisia will vote for a constitutional assembly. They are the first polls since President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in January’s uprising.