Tunisia arrests 237 in clashes, dozens hurt

Tunisian police detain dozens after clashes

Tunisia arrests 237 in clashes, dozens hurt

The protests continues to sizzle underneath the surface of Tunisia, even after the changes in the Tunisian government following the Arab Spring that led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

They're vowing to stay on the streets and actually increase their protests until the government eases their tax load.

Properties were damaged, the ministry said, including a branch of the Carrefour supermarket chain in the suburbs of Tunis that was looted.

"Further demonstrations are planned for the coming days, including in Tunis on 12 and 13 January 2018; you should avoid protests and follow the instructions of the local authorities", it added.

Protests are hardly new: In November, a mother of five killed herself by setting herself on fire in the town of Sejnane to protest her desperate economic plight. The police say he was not killed by their employees.

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Unrest was also reported in the working-class neighbourhoods of Djebel Lahmer and Zahrouni on the outskirts of Tunis, the central cities of Gafsa and Kasserine, and the northern town of Jedaida.

AFP correspondents said most areas were calm late last night, and the presidency said the main political parties, unions and business organisations will meet on Saturday to discuss the situation.

Similar clashes were seen in the impoverished inland regions of Kasserine and Jelma, near Sidi Bouzid, where protests, which sparked the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that removed Ben Ali, started.

"I wanted to express my anger about being poor, and they responded with tear gas at my head", said Mohamed Rahmani, 21, his head in bandages because of 10 stitches.

On Tuesday, petrol bombs were hurled at a Jewish school on the southern tourist island of Djerba, home to an ancient Jewish community.

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He suffered from "chronic shortness of breath" and showed "no signs of violence or [having been] run over", and a forensic doctor has been tasked with determining the cause of death, the statement said.

Over 300 protesters were arrested on Wednesday night and the army was deployed in several Tunisian cities in violent demonstrations over prices, taxes and unemployment that have swept the country.

Activists campaigning against the austerity measures have called for a huge protest on Friday.

They have called for the revision of the 2018 Finance Act behind the Value-Added Tax and social contribution rises, as well as better welfare for struggling families.

Mr. Chibani told TAP that acts of vandalism and looting had fallen significantly on Wednesday night after security forces were deployed across the country.

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The Tunisian government has accused political opponents of stoking the unrest and defended the unpopular price rises as essential to improving the economy.

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