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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid