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Friday, February 26, 2021

Tunisians protest after Arab Spring anniversary

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Tunisians protest after Arab Spring anniversary
Tunisians protest after Arab Spring anniversary

Hundreds of youths clashed with police in cities across Tunisia late on Monday, throwing stones and gasoline bombs in the capital as security forces used tear gas and water cannons to try to quell the unrest.

Libby Hogan produced this report.

Throwing stones and gasoline bombs the streets in Tunisia's capital were on fire late Monday, as hundreds of young people clashed with police.

Protests erupted following the 10 year anniversary of a revolution that was sparked when a fruit seller set himself on fire protesting over similar issues, and inspired a wave of revolt known as the Arab Spring.

In Tunisia it brought democracy but few have seen material gains and anger has been growing at the dire prospects for jobs and poor state services.

Around 300 young men confronted police and violence followed in several Tunisian cities.

With no clear agenda, it's uncertain what direction the demonstrations are moving towards, or whether they will die down, as there's no clear political leadership or backing from major parties.

There were no slogans chanted on Monday, but one protester who spoke to Reuters said the goal was to expose their daily struggles, calling for jobs and dignity.

After shaking off the shackles of autocratic rule, Tunisia was heading towards an economic crisis even before the global coronavirus pandemic.

Tanks were deployed on the streets on Sunday and over 600 people -- mostly teenagers -- were detained by police.

Human rights groups are calling for restraint, citing footage of police beating and dragging protesters.

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