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Tunisia rocked by fourth night of street riots

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Tunisian protesters block a street during clashes with security forces in the Ettadhamen city suburb on the northwestern outskirts of Tunis on January 18, 2021, amidst a wave of nightly protests in the North African country. – The social unrest comes at a time of economic crisis, worsened by the pandemic, that has sparked rapid inflation and high youth unemployment and led many people to leave Tunisia. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)

Tunisia was rocked by a fourth night of street clashes between riot police and youths in mostly working-class neighbourhoods, and there were calls on social media for more rallies on Tuesday.

More than 600 people had been arrested by Monday over the disturbances in which teenagers and adolescents have hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at police who have fired volleys of teargas at them.

The social unrest comes at a time of economic crisis, worsened by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism-reliant North African country, that has deepened poverty and driven up inflation and unemployment.

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In the latest unrest until the early hours of Tuesday, hundreds of youths in the capital battled police in several districts including the vast Ettadhamen city on the outskirts of Tunis.

In Sfax, the second-largest city, protesters blockaded roads with burning tyres, an AFP correspondent reported. Clashes were also reported in the towns of Gafsa, Le Kef, Bizerte, Kasserine, Sousse and Monastir.

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