600+ Arrested In Tunisia after Three Nights of Widespread Unrest
A third night of unrest has shaken Tunisia where authorities said more than 600 people have been arrested this week as anger at austerity measures boils over on the streets.
Tunisia is considered a rare success story of the Arab Spring uprisings that began in the North African country in 2011 and spread across the region, toppling autocrats.
But the authorities failed to resolve the issues of poverty and unemployment.
Police detained 328 people on Wednesday for theft, looting, arson and blocking roads, the interior ministry said, after arresting more than 280 people over the previous two days.
The latest unrest saw a provincial police station torched, Molotov cocktails hurled at police and tear-gas fired, but ministry spokesman Khalifa Chibani said the "violence" was less intense than in previous days.
Twenty-one members of the security forces were injured, according to Chibani, who said no civilians were hurt.
AFP correspondents said most areas were calm late today, and the presidency said the main political parties, unions and business organizations will meet on Saturday to discuss the situation.
Tunisia is often seen as having had a relatively smooth transition since the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
But Tunisians expressed frustration since the start of the year over austerity measures expected to further increase prices in a struggling economy.
The country introduced hikes in value-added tax and social contributions as part of a tough new budget.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team