Tunisian authorities are seeking the death penalty against several suspects who have been detained over attacks on the US Embassy and the neighboring American school last month, defense lawyers said.
Anouar Ouled Ali and Mondher Charni said an unspecified number of the 87 people now held in custody risk capital punishment on charges including attacks against state security. The September 14 violence came amid roiling protests across the Muslim world over a private US-produced film that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.
Several thousand demonstrators stormed the US Embassy compound, tore down the American flag and looted and burned buildings. Police responded with gunshots and tear gas. Four demonstrators died and scores of people were injured, including security forces.
Tunisia's governing moderate Islamist party condemned the attacks on the US sites.
Separately, the Tunisian government extended for an eighth time a state of emergency put in place in January 2011 amid a popular uprising that forced longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power, the official news agency TAP reported Thursday.
President Moncef Marzouki extended the state of emergency for one month, despite a "notable improvement in the general security situation" in the country, TAP said.