Babylon & Beyond

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TUNISIA: Polish priest slain amid rising Islamic militancy

February 18, 2011 | 12:33 pm

A Polish Catholic priest was found dead with his throat slit in a convent garage near Tunis, the Tunisian news agency TAP reported Friday.

The agency cited a Tunisian Interior Ministry statement that blamed the killing on "fascist elements."

The 34-year-old priest, Marek Marius Rybinski, was found dead from multiple stab wounds and slashes at the convent in Manouba where he served as an accountant, the news agency reported.

Tunisia has been the scene of economic, social and political unrest for months, and religious militancy has been on the rise since the Jan. 14 ouster of the North African nation's longtime leader, Zine el Abidine ben Ali.

It was not clear if the priest's killing was at the hands of religious extremists. Islamists torched brothels in the capital earlier Friday, demanding their closure. The military deployed helicopters to disperse the angry crowd.

--Carol J. Williams