Opposition figure and MP Mohamed Brahmi has been shot dead by unknown gunmen outside his home near the Tunisian capital.

" Mohamed Brahmi, general coordinator of the Popular Movement and member of the National Constituent Assembly, was shot dead outside his home in Ariana, " state television and the official TAP news agency reported on Thursday.

" He was riddled with bullets in front of his wife and children, " Mohsen Nabti, a fellow member of the small leftist movement, said in a tearful account on Tunisian radio.

Watanya television said Brahmi was struck by a hail of 11 bullets fired from point - blank range.

The February 6 assassination of Chokri Belaid, another opposition figure, in front of his home sparked a political crisis in Tunisia.