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Thousands in Tunisia show support for ruling Islamist party amid new post-revolution tensions

  • Leader of the Islamist ruling party Ennahda, Rached El Ghannouchi, center background, speaks to supporters during a meeting in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Activists from Tunisia's ruling Islamist party Ennahda denounce in a protest the plans for a government of technocrats  to solve the country's crisis. (AP Photo/Amine Landouls)

    Leader of the Islamist ruling party Ennahda, Rached El Ghannouchi, center background, speaks to supporters during a meeting in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Activists from Tunisia's ruling Islamist party Ennahda denounce in a protest the plans for a government of technocrats to solve the country's crisis. (AP Photo/Amine Landouls)  (The Associated Press)

  • Leader of the Islamist ruling party Ennahda, Rached El Ghannouchi, speaks to supporters during a meeting in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Activists from Tunisia's ruling Islamist party Ennahda denounce in a protest the plans for a government of technocrats  to solve the country's crisis. (AP Photo/Amine Landouls)

    Leader of the Islamist ruling party Ennahda, Rached El Ghannouchi, speaks to supporters during a meeting in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Activists from Tunisia's ruling Islamist party Ennahda denounce in a protest the plans for a government of technocrats to solve the country's crisis. (AP Photo/Amine Landouls)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of supporters of the ruling Islamist party have marched in Tunisia's capital in response to rising criticism about the country's direction two years after its revolution.

Demonstrators expressed support for the moderate Islamist Ennahda party. Tensions have mounted between the governing coalition and opposition after leftist politician Chokri Belaid was killed outside his home Feb. 6.

In Saturday's rally in Tunis, some demonstrators held up Ennahda flags adorned with a blue dove, crescent moon and red star. Banners bore phrases like "we are here by the people's will, only bayonets will make us leave" and "the revolution continues."

Ennahda was repressed under the secular rule of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The well-organized movement won elections after he was driven from power in January 2011.