Tunisia says 200 arrested, dozens injured in fresh unrest
Tunisia says more than 200 people have been detained and dozens wounded in violent protests against austerity measures.
Interior Ministry Spokesman Khalifa Chibani said nearly 50 police officers were injured during clashes in several areas across the country. 206 “troublemakers” were also arrested in the wake of the second night of violent anti-austerity protests, added the official.
He said public property had been damaged and local businesses looted in the suburbs of the capital Tunis.
On Tuesday night, police and army were deployed in several cities, including Tebourba, west of Tunis, where hundreds of youths took to the streets after the funeral of a 45-year-old protester who lost his life the night before.
Police denied any role in the protester’s death. And, the results of an autopsy have not been made public.
The central cities of Gafsa and Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of the 2011 uprising, were also the scene of chaos and unrest.
Tunisia has seen days of protests against hikes in value-added tax and social contributions introduced at the beginning of the year to reduce the country’s annual deficit and satisfy international lenders.
In recent years, demonstrations have been held in the month of January, which marks the anniversary of the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The North African country has been hailed for its relatively smooth democratic transition, but it is still experiencing economic and political turbulence.