NORTH AFRICA

Tunisia regains total calm after three nights of unrest

Demonstrating graduate shouts slogans during protests against rising prices and tax increases, in Tunis. (Reuters)

Friday was totally quiet, in Tunisia, after three nights of unrest.

On Thursday, unrest was limited to sporadic clashes in very few cities and Friday night was totally calm, after just around 200 people protested peacefully in the capita, according to the interior ministry.

Tunisian authorities arrested another 150 people including local opposition leaders on Friday, bringing the total detained close to 800 in response to demonstrations this week against price and tax rises.

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Interior Ministry spokesman Khalifa al-Shaibani confirmed in a statement to that the total number of detainees since the beginning of recent events in a number of areas reached 773 people.

All those arrested are accused of theft, looting, robbery and cutting off roads.

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Protesters have burned dozens of state buildings, prompting the government to send the army into several cities and towns.

Activists and opposition politicians appealed for fresh demonstrations in the capital, Tunis, on Friday and on Sunday, the seventh anniversary of the toppling of authoritarian president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, the first leader to fall in the 2011 "Arab Spring" protests that swept the region.

The protests draw on anger over price and tax increases included in this year's budget that took effect on Jan. 1.

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Last Update: Saturday, 13 January 2018 KSA 11:42 - GMT 08:42
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