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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid