An overnight curfew has been instituted in eight regions across Tunisia, including the capital, Tunis. REUTERS

The Tunisian government declared an overnight curfew Tuesday in various parts of the country, including the capital, Tunis, following several attacks that have been attributed to an Islamist sect.

The eight-hour curfew was instituted in eight regions and Tunis after riots broke out targeting police stations, a courthouse and an art gallery.

The government has blamed Islamic fundamentalists known as Salafists for the attacks, though prominent members of the sect have denied any such involvement.

The attacks appeared to have been sparked by an art exhibition in a suburb of Tunis, where rioters attempted Monday night to storm a gallery that featured art pieces they claimed were blasphemous against Islam.

Some of the artwork featured female nudity and caricatures of Muslim holy sites, and some of it had been defaced by Islamists the day before.

The Salalfists publicly denounced the exhibition, calling for Tunisians to demonstrate against religious infringements, News 24 reported.