Tunisia announces nationwide curfew after protests

Protesters outside the local government office in Kasserine, Tunisia on Jan 21, 2016.
Protesters outside the local government office in Kasserine, Tunisia on Jan 21, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

TUNIS (AFP) - Tunisia announced on Friday (Jan 22) a nighttime curfew across the country after several days of social unrest that has led to street protests and clashes.

"In light of these attacks against public and private property, and given that the continuation of these acts represents a danger to the security of citizens, it was decided to declare a curfew across Tunisia from 20:00 to 05:00," the interior ministry said.

Protests against unemployment and poverty have spread across towns in central Tunisia since the beginning of the week. Security forces have clashed with protesters in several towns, including in Kasserine where the unrest started, using tear gas against them.

At least three police stations have been attacked over the last 24 hours and 42 members of the security forces have been wounded, the interior ministry said. The situation was relatively calm on Friday morning, Louguini said.

Several hundred protesters who gathered mid-morning in front of the Kasserine governor's office were met with fewer security forces than on previous days, an AFP journalist said.

Demonstrators who had spent the night in a meeting hall opposite the building said they were determined to continue their protest.