News / Middle East

Tunisia Suspends Activities of Former Ruling Party

Tunisia's interior ministry has suspended activity by the former ruling party of deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in an attempt to put an end to violent clashes and protests around the country.

Interior Minister Fahrat Rajhi suspended all meetings of the RCD party (Constitutional Democratic Rally Party or Rassemblement Constitutionnel Democratique) and ordered that its offices across the country shut down.

Rajhi said the move is aimed at preventing a breakdown of general security and protecting the higher interest of the country.

In the most recent clashes, a man died Sunday after being hit in the head with a tear-gas canister during clashes between police and protesters in the southern town of Kebili, where demonstrations have greeted the appointment of a local governor.

Tunisia's army was deployed in the northwestern town of Kef, where demonstrators ransacked and burned a police station after a police shooting that killed at least two people.

The shooting was on Saturday, when police fired on a crowd of about 1,000 people hurling stones and firebombs at a police station in Kef.

The protesters had been calling for the police chief to step down over allegations of abuse of power. Witnesses said the stone-throwing began after the police chief slapped a woman in the crowd. At least 17 people were injured.

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