News24

Fresh clashes in Tunisian town

2011-02-06 21:24

Tunis - Tunisian protestors set a police station ablaze amid fresh clashes on Sunday in the northwestern town of Kef where four people were killed the day before and the army has deployed, media reports and witnesses said.

"There's panic in the town. The security forces' building is on fire," said labour union activist Raouf Hadaoui told AFP by telephone.

Gangs of youths attacked and ransacked the police station before setting it on fire, he said. Hadaoui alleged they had been "paid by the (former ruling party) RCD to sow trouble".

Hadaoui said several police cars had been torched and fires were threatening to spread from the police station to neighbouring homes.

"The army has been deployed all around the town," he said.

The official TAP news agency said the demonstrators had taken documents and equipment from the police station before setting it on fire.

Four people died in clashes between protesters and police in the town on Saturday, according to union activists and witnesses.

Several hundred demonstrators had been calling for the city's police chief, Khaled Ghazouani, to be sacked for abuse of power, the government news agency TAP reported.

The situation degenerated when Ghazouani slapped one of the protesters and the crowd tried to rush the police station and set it ablaze.

Police opened fire, killing two demonstrators, aged 19 and 36, and seriously wounding three others, said union sources and an interior ministry source.

Two of those injured later died of their wounds, union activists and a local resident told AFP later on Saturday.