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Tunisia: Police use tear gas to disperse protests calling for jobs

Tunisian health workers gather in front of Health ministry to stage a protest demanding a special law for health sector in Tunis, Tunisia on 18 June 2020. [Nacer Talel - Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian health workers gather in front of Health ministry to stage a protest demanding a special law for health sector in Tunis, Tunisia on 18 June 2020. [Nacer Talel - Anadolu Agency]

Demonstrators protesting against high unemployment rates have occupied a main street in the city of Tataouine, southern Tunisia, burning tyres as security forces tried to disperse them.

Eyewitnesses told Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) that clashes erupted after security forces raided the sit-in in El-Kamour near the oil production areas on Saturday night and in the early hours of Sunday and arrested a number of protesters.

Security forces fired tear gas into the crowd in an effort to disperse it, however they remained large in place.

A spokesman for the protest movement said: "We are not advocates of violence, vandalism and anarchy. All we want is a peaceful solution. We are tired of political debates while young people are drowning in the sea."

In 2017, authorities signed an agreement with protesters saying it will recruit 1,500 unemployed Tunisians in the oil industry and allocate 80 million dinars (about $28 million) to finance development projects in the governorate. However, to date it has not carried out the terms of the deal.

The unemployment rate in Tataouine is double the national average, standing at 30 per cent.

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