News / Africa

Tunisian Government: 14 Killed as Rioting Continues

Tunisians protest against high prices and unemployment, Tunis, 08 Jan 2011.
Tunisians protest against high prices and unemployment, Tunis, 08 Jan 2011.

The Tunisian government says 14 people have been killed in clashes with security forces, in the latest rioting during an unprecedented wave of unrest sparked by widespread unemployment and high food prices.

The interior ministry, in statements issued directly or reported by the official TAP news agency, said the deaths have occurred since late Saturday in the western towns of Kasserine, Thala and Regueb, near the border with Algeria.  The government said several police officers were wounded in the clashes.

Riots in the North African nation were triggered last month when a 26-year-old university graduate in the central city of Sidi Bouzid who could only find work as a street merchant set himself on fire after authorities confiscated his produce. The man, Mohammed Bouazizi, later died of his burns.

The street protests by angry students, professionals and youths have grown into the most widespread and violent outburst of popular dissent in President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's 23-year rule.

Najib Chebbi, who diplomats say is the most credible leader in Tunisia's weak opposition, called Sunday on the Tunisian leader to immediately order security forces to stop using firearms.

The protest wave had died down after Mr. Ben Ali named a new youth minister and a new governor for Sidi Bouzid.  Official media said he also ordered a $4.5 billion plan to create jobs for Tunisians with university diplomas.

Thousands of Tunisian lawyers went on strike last week, angered by what they say were beatings by security forces during demonstrations they recently staged in support of the students.  In Tunis Thursday, lawyers gathered at the main courthouse, where police stood guard but did not intervene.

Protests are rare in Tunisia, where the government tolerates little dissent.

Meanwhile, unrest in neighboring Algeria over soaring food prices has killed at least two people and injured hundreds since Thursday. There is no evidence of any link to the events in Tunisia.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

 

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid