Protesters, police clash in Tunisian town

2012-11-30 21:10


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Siliana - Protesters clashed with police on Friday in Tunisia's flashpoint town of Siliana, where violence has left hundreds wounded this week, as political instability mounts two years after the revolution.

Thousands took to the streets of the impoverished town demanding the governor's resignation and financial aid in a fourth straight day of unrest, with the authorities battling to maintain order.

In a repeat of events on Thursday, protesters attacked a police station, hurling rocks and erecting barricades, with the police firing tear gas and chasing the demonstrators through the streets.

A local representative of the UGTT, Tunisia's main trade union, which had called Friday's demonstration, urged the protesters to disperse.

"Go back home, it's dangerous.

"They will fire on you with live rounds," shouted Abdesattar Manai.

The symbolic march towards Tunis, which was initially peaceful, drew a crowd of thousands, who took part on foot, in cars and on motorcycles, chanting: "With our souls and our blood we sacrifice for Siliana."

Protesters said they would continue their agitation until governor Ahmed Ezzine Mahjoubi steps down, police repression ends and a development programme for the region is put in place.

The violence in Siliana comes as clashes, strikes and attacks by Salafists have multiplied across Tunisia, plunging the country into a political impasse.

Much of Tunisia's interior suffers from a chronic lack of development and has seen rising discontent over the government's failure to improve living standards.

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