News / Middle East

Tunisian Security Forces Clash With Youths in Fresh Protests

People stand outside an official building with a charred car in M'nihla, outside Tunis,  Jan.13, 2011. Sporadic sounds of clashes and rounds of gunfire echoed in the suburbs of Tunisia's capital early Thursday as youths defied a government curfew order ai
People stand outside an official building with a charred car in M'nihla, outside Tunis, Jan.13, 2011. Sporadic sounds of clashes and rounds of gunfire echoed in the suburbs of Tunisia's capital early Thursday as youths defied a government curfew order ai

Eyewitnesses say Tunisian security forces have clashed with groups of mostly young protesters in the capital Tunis Thursday, along with scattered reports of clashes in other cities.  
.
Al-Jazeera TV showed a video of a Tunisian Army convoy trying to advance amid a large crowd as riot police appeared to confront the crowd from a nearby side street. The sound of gunfire could be heard at several points.

Chawki Tabib, attorney and former president of the Association of Young Tunisian Lawyers tells VOA that he saw security forces firing on the crowd in the center of the capital.

He says that he and a group of colleagues saw security forces near the headquarters of Tunisian government radio firing on young protesters waving Tunisian flags and throwing rocks at them. He adds that the security forces fired tear gas at the protesters before resorting to real bullets.

Tunisian government TV also showed images of businesses and government offices that appeared to have been ransacked and burned in a number of cities and towns. It complained that uncontrolled mobs of demonstrators were looting and pillaging private and government property.

Tunisian President Zein al Abdine Ben Ali addressed the country Thursday night on government TV, saying that he was setting up a committee to study popular grievances.

He says that he is setting up a national committee made up of independent national figures that have credit with all sectors of society to look at elections, the press, universities and other things in the lead up to parliamentary elections in 2014.

Protesters have continued to defy a government ordered curfew in the capital Tunis, and clashes between large crowds and riot police have resulted in a number of casualties. Human rights groups say that four people were killed, while al-Jazeera TV claims that 11 died in the violence.

Prime Minister Ghannouchi announced Wednesday that he had fired and replaced the country’s interior minister. He also announced that demonstrators not involved in looting would be released.

The wave of unrest began in December when a 26-year-old university graduate set himself on fire after police confiscated goods he was hawking on the street.  Authorities said he was selling without a permit.  

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged the government to stop security forces from using excessive force against protesters.  Navi Pillay also has urged Tunisia to launch a "transparent and credible investigation" into the unrest.

 

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

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid