Deposed Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (file photo)
Deposed Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (file photo)

Tunisian authorities have referred criminal cases against former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali to a military court.

The country's state-run TAP news agency says officials made the decision on Wednesday, in compliance with jurisdiction rules.

Authorities with the country's interim government have filed at least 18 charges against Ben Ali who fled to Saudi Arabia after being ousted in January.  The charges include "plotting against internal security," murder and inciting disorder.

TAP says the cases of two formerly high-ranking officials in Ben Ali's administration have also been referred to the military court.

Tunisia has been struggling to stabilize since Ben Ali's departure.  Earlier this week, authorities arrested nearly 200 people for offenses that included throwing stones at security forces, breaking a curfew and looting.

The arrests followed several days of protests in which demonstrators called for the resignation of the caretaker government.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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