Tunisia: Deadly fire breaks out at Ennahdha party headquarters

At least one person has died and 18 injured in fire at the headquarters of Ennahdha party in the capital Tunis.

Tunisian firefighters put out the blaze at the Ennahdha party headquarters in central Tunis [Fethi Belaid/AFP]

At least one person has died and 18 injured after a fire broke out at the headquarters of Tunisia’s Ennahdha party in the capital Tunis, authorities and party members said.

Ennahdha, in a statement on Thursday, confirmed that one of its members was killed in the fire but did not give any further details, while the interior ministry said the “charred” body had been found in the building.

The official TAP news agency cited judiciary sources as saying the fire erupted after a man set himself ablaze on the ground floor.

Al Jazeera, however, could not independently verify the reports regarding the circumstances that led to the fire.

The Ennahdha party’s vice president, Ali Laaryadh, and advisory board head Abdelkarim Harouni were hospitalised after they jumped from the second floor of the building, located in Montplaisir neighbourhood of the capital to escape the flames, party members said.

The party’s president, Rached Ghannouchi, speaker of Tunisia’s suspended parliament, was not in the building at the time, party official Mondher Lounisi said.

The blaze comes three days after Ennahdha warned it was facing an orchestrated “defamation” campaign aimed at shutting it out of national politics.

It has emerged as a prominent political force after the Arab Spring protests forced out longtime leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

The party played a central role in national politics until President Kais Saied sacked the government, suspended the assembly and seized a string of powers on July 25.

Source: News Agencies