Manama: Hardliner Salafists have reportedly cut off four fingers of an alcohol seller.

Tunisian daily Al Sabah said that the attack occurred on Saturday evening in the governorate of Manouba, west of the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

The attack followed heavy clashes between riot police and the Salafists who attacked alcohol vendors during the Eid Al Adha, the Islamic Feast of the Sacrifice.

The commander of the National Guard in Manouba was seriously injured in the clashes and had to be treated at a hospital in Tunis, less than 20 kilometres away.

Members of the National Guard in four governorates decided to wear a red armband for three days to press for stringent punitive action by the government against the hardliner Salafists who have repeatedly attacked servicemen, Al Sabah said.

Salafists oppose the sale of alcohol and have called for its ban in the North African country.

Earlier this year, they attacked a small town hotel in central Tunisia and spilled all the alcohol and smashed the bottles.

The emergence of hardline Salafists has raised serious concerns in Tunisia, a country known for its moderation, especially after the incidents they caused at the US embassy in the suburbs of Tunis in September to protest against the controversial video targeting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Several leftist parties have accused Al Nahda of being lenient with the Salafists for ideological reasons.

Al Nahda, the main moderate Islamist party, last year dominated the country’s first free multiparty parliamentary elections. The party, banned until March last year, is ruling the country in coalition with two liberal parties. The Prime Minister, Hamadi Jebali, is from Al Nahda.

The next parliamentary elections are tentatively set for June 23.