Tunisian military intervenes in violent clashes between protesters, security forces

Published April 18th, 2016 - 11:30 GMT
Protesters in Kerkennah chant slogans at the arriving military forces. (AFP/Fethi Belaid)
Protesters in Kerkennah chant slogans at the arriving military forces. (AFP/Fethi Belaid)

Tunisian military intervened on Kerkennah, an island of the eastern coast of Tunisia, after protesters and security forces clashed violently near the Petrofac factory.

Security forces fired tear gas on unemployment protesters, who responded by burning a security headquarters in Sidi Yousef and two national guard offices. The security forces withdrew from the island upon the arrival of military forces.

Before the military arrived, protesters threw a car into the sea and blocked the entry and exit of trucks into the oil factory.

The military forces took over the regional headquarters (Al-m’atmdiya), and the headquarters of Petrofac, the petroleum company where protests broke out.

Habib Essid, Prime Minister of Tunisia, accused both the leftist Popular Front Coalition and the Islamic Liberation Party in being behind the violent protests. He said in a meeting with a group of newspaper editors that investigations have proved that these parties are responsible for inciting the recent events in Kerkennah.

Essid denied that the security forces used any excessive force and stressed that their actions were legal and appropriate for the situation.

Essid stressed that the over 400 workers protesting the threat of unemployment were within their rights, but the state intervened when the protesting turned violent. 

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