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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid