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Sporadic unrest continues in Tunisia
13 January 2018, 05:27 | Terri Saunders
One person killed during protests in Tunisia: state news agency
On Monday 8 January, the Interior Ministry acknowledged that a 55-year-old man was killed during a protest in the town of Tebourba, about 20 miles outside of the capital of Tunis.
The spokesman for the Tunisian interior ministry Khalifa Chibani told local media outlets on Wednesday that 49 police officers were also wounded during clashes with protesters across the country and that 206 "troublemakers" were arrested.
On Tuesday, petrol bombs were thrown at a Jewish school on the southern tourist island of Djerba, home to an ancient Jewish community.
The Tunisian government, a coalition of Islamist, secularist and independent factions, have accused criminal and opposition elements of being behind the protests.
The unrest started with peaceful protests last week, but escalated into clashes with police overnight Monday to Tuesday.
This security forces' behavior is a key factor in Tunisia's success in preventing the demonstrations from degenerating into violent protest.
Tunisians have become increasingly frustrated since the government said it would increase the price of gasoil, some goods, and taxes on cars, phone calls, the internet, hotel accommodation and other items from January 1, as part of austerity measures agreed upon with its foreign lenders. Protesters have burned dozens of state buildings, prompting the government to send the army into several cities and towns.
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Protests in Tunisia have expanded to major cities such as Beja, Nabeul, Qebily, Bizerte and Sidi Bouzid, after initially breaking out in a number of poor neighborhoods in the capital, and in Manouba, Gafsa and Kasserine.
Meanwhile, Tunisian Minister of Commerce Omar Al-Bahi said the recent prices increase doesn't affect state-subsidized products, but will reduce the trade and budget deficit.
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed warned against any attempt to disrupt the country, and against any vandalism targeting citizens, or public and private assets.
The security forces in Tunisia are very sympathetic to the demonstrators and often avoid force to dispersing demonstrations, let alone shooting at demonstrators. But nine successive governments have failed to get a grip on the economic situation.
The protests have drawn in hundreds in each town where they have taken place, though they have been smaller than previous waves of demonstrations since 2011.
He spoke to residents of the town, who stood in a crowd around him as his security forces surrounded him.
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