3 killed in clashes Tunisia clashes

2011-02-27 10:42

Tunis - Three people were killed in clashes on Saturday between demonstrators and security forces in Tunisia's capital, the interior ministry announced after a second day of unrest in the city.

"Three people died from the dozen who were wounded during clashes and were transferred to hospital for treatment," it said in a statement. The description suggested the dead were demonstrators.

"Several members of the security forces were wounded to different degrees," it said without giving a number.

Security forces had fired warning shots and tear gas at the anti-government demonstration, and protesters responded by hurling stones, AFP reporters said.

It followed a similar protest in the capital on Friday.

The ministry said more than 100 people were arrested on Saturday and 88 people had been arrested on Friday.

It blamed the clashes on "agitators" it said had infiltrated the peaceful demonstrators.

They had used students "as human shields to carry out violent acts, fires aimed at sowing terror among the people and targeting the internal security forces", the statement said.

Tens of thousands of protesters had taken to the streets on Friday demanding the resignation of the country's interim prime minister who was part of the regime of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ousted January 14.

In response to growing protests, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi's government announced on Friday that it will hold elections by mid-July.