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200 arrested, dozens hurt in fresh Tunisia unrest

More than 200 people have been arrested and dozens hurt during clashes in several parts of Tunisia, the interior ministry says, after a second night of unrest driven by anger over austerity measures.

Interior ministry spokesman Khalifa Chibani tells local radio that 49 police officers were wounded during clashes across the country and that 206 “troublemakers” were arrested overnight. Properties were damaged, he says, including a branch of the Carrefour supermarket chain in the suburbs of Tunis that was looted.

A witness says youths threw stones at shop windows last night, taking advantage of the chaos to steal goods including electrical appliances. The police intervened, firing tear gas.

The North African country has been hailed for its relatively smooth democratic transition since its 2011 uprising, but seven years after the revolution tensions over economic grievances are high. Tunisia has seen rising anger over hikes in value-added tax and social contributions after a tough new budget was applied at the start of the year.

— AFP

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