Economic protests in Tunisia leave 200 injured
Tunisian women demonstrate in solidarity with the southwestern town of Siliana on Wednesday, in Tunis. (AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID)
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Around 200 people have been injured in riots in Southwest Tunisia, after demonstrators clashed with police on Wednesday.
Protestors in the city of Siliana, south of the capital, were demanding jobs and economic reforms, in the latest wave of demonstrations against the ruling Ennahda party, since the Arab Spring.
Tunsians began the spate of Arab Uprisings, which spread across the Middle East, after police harassed a street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi. He later set himself on fire in front of a local police station, complaining that it was impossible to make a living.
Tunisia’s Islamist government has been struggling to regain control of its economy. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have both offered assistance to ease business and financial industries.
On Tuesday the World Bank offered Tunisia $500million dollars to ease the economic situation.
Unemployment is high in the North African country and has remained a serious issue since the days of ousted president, Ben Ali.
Medical staff in Siliana hospital confirmed that 200 people had been injured in the protests. France24 journalist, David Thomson, said he was hospitalized after police fired a pellet with ball bearings in, known as a "bird-shot."
An opposition politician for the Republican Party confirmed that tanks had been deployed in an effort to control the crowds, as they called for the resignation of local politicians.
State television reported 80 injured.
Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali blamed liberal elites and hardline salafis of attempting to stir up trouble.