World Bulletin/News Desk
A Tunisian imam has denied media reports that he had refused to perform funeral prayer for a soldier who had died in a landmine blast.
"These media reports are not true," Muncif Gharsallah, the imam of the grand mosque in Ben Gardane, a commune and a coastal town near the border with Libya, told Anadolu Agency.
He recalled that an army colonel had entered the mosque on Wednesday to tell him that the body of the slain soldier would arrive in for a special prayer for the dead.
Gharsallah added that he had asked an older preacher, who had been delivering a sermon inside the mosque at the time, to lead the prayer as a show of respect for the elder.
"The slain man was a Tunisian, and I do not have any problem with anybody in Tunisia," he said.
Four Tunisian soldiers were killed in a landmine blast in the northwestern Kef province on Wednesday.
Local media, however, reported that Gharsallah had refused to lead a special prayer when the body of one of the soldiers arrived in his mosque.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs has since relieved Gharsallah of his duty, even without notifying him.
Gharsallah has also been grilled by the prosecution over the past days.
Last Mod: 06 Temmuz 2014, 13:21