Tunisian youth clash with police outside cemetery

BOUAZZA BEN BOUAZZA and GREG KELLER
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Tunisian men carry the coffin of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid wrapped in the Tunisian red flag as they leave his father's house prior to his funeral in Tunis, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Tunisia braced for clashes on Friday, with the capital shut down by a general strike and the army deployed for the funeral of a slain opposition leader expected to draw tens of thousands of mourners, and potentially many more. (AP Photo/Amine Landoulsi)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Police have used tear gas and clashed with groups of young men outside the cemetery where Tunisians were preparing to bury an assassinated leftist politician.

The private Nessma television station reported that gangs of youths were attempting to steal the cars of mourners and began throwing stones when confronted by police.

Police responded with tear gas, some of which floated into the cemetery itself. Members of the crowd tried to stop the young people from throwing rocks.

The slaying of 48-year-old lawyer Chokri Belaid has exacerbated Tunisia's long-running political crisis.

Belaid's funeral procession had not yet reached the cemetery when the clashes began.