Over 600 protesters arrested in Tunisia

13 January, 2018, 05:27 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Tunisian police detain dozens after clashes

"Some 330 people involved in acts of sabotage and robbery was arrested last night", said the interior ministry spokesman, Khelifa Chibani, bringing the number of detainees since the protests began about 600.

Tunisia has been hailed as the only democratic success of the Arab Spring: the one Arab country to topple a long-serving leader in that year's uprisings without triggering widespread violence or civil war.

They spiralled after the government hiked prices of staple goods and introduced new taxes at the start of the year to try to tackle a ballooning deficit and appease foreign lenders.

During the clashes property was damaged including a branch of the Carrefour supermarket chain in the suburbs of Tunis that was looted.

In Tebourba police fired tear gas at dozens of protesters, a resident said.

TUNIS, Tunisia - Tunisia's government said protests over rising food prices appeared to be subsiding Friday following days of clashes with police that left one person dead and scores injured.

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed warned against any attempt to disrupt the country, and against any vandalism targeting citizens, or public and private assets.

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Fresh clashes broke out Wednesday night in the northern town of Siliana, where youths threw stones and molotov cocktails at security forces.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the capital Tunis, said that thousands of people on the streets were enthusiastic about the movement's momentum.

Tunisia's army has deployed 2,100 troops in different parts of the country, with the stated aim of protecting "sovereign institutions and vital facilities", defence ministry spokesman Belhassen al-Waslati said on Thursday.

Protests are common in Tunisia in January, when people mark the anniversary of the 2011 revolution. Police violence is being carried out even against protesters who were just writing tags on a wall.

Violent protests spread in the evening to at least 10 towns.

On Thursday, protesters walked across Avenue Bourguiba, the main street of the capital city, demanding the revision and suspension of the new finance law for the year 2018.

While Tunisia set an example for the region by building a democracy against the odds, many Tunisians, especially in working class provincial towns, now fear the government is slipping back into authoritarian ways. Food prices have also risen by about 8 percent each year since the 2011 revolution, while unemployment stands at over 15 percent.

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