Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Tunisian protester killed in clashes with police over…

Tunisian protester killed in clashes with police over…

More than 200 people have been arrested and dozens of police hurt during clashes in Tunisia, the interior ministry said on Wednesday, as anger over austerity measures spilt over into unrest. The army was deployed into towns across the country to protect government buildings, which have become targets.

He suffered from "chronic shortness of breath" and showed "no signs of violence or [having been] run over", and a forensic doctor has been tasked with determining the cause of death, the statement said.

Prices have increased for fuel and some consumer goods, while taxes on cars, phone calls, the internet, hotel accommodation and other items have also gone up.

Med Dhia Hammami, a political analyst, said on Wednesday that he expects more protests leading to the Sunday anniversary of the Arab Spring uprisings, also known in Tunisia as the Jasmine Revolution.

People protest against the government's decision to raise the prices of fuel and other products for daily use in Tunis, capital of Tunisia, on January 9, 2018.

On Tuesday, petrol bombs were thrown at a Jewish school on the southern tourist island of Djerba, home to an ancient Jewish community.

Ammar Amroussieh, a leader of the Popular Front coalition, said that his movement had already warned the ruling coalition of the danger of the 2018 Finance Act, explaining that the new budget would produce social unrest and increase poverty and marginalization.

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Commodity prices in Tunisia have skyrocketed since the government adopted a raft of austerity measures aimed at reigning in a budget deficit that hit 6 percent of the country's GDP previous year.

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, meanwhile, called for calm following the protests, saying the economy would improve this year.

Worldwide lenders extended a crucial $2.8bn (£2.1bn) loan to Tunisia past year, but have demanded cuts to the civil service and a broader austerity programme. As many as 237 people have been arrested, including two Islamists, news agency Reuters said.

Tunisians have already been struggling with high unemployment and rising prices.

Opposition forces have gathered to coordinate their protests.

"The Tunisian government needs to understand that Tunisian society is fed up".

Tunisia's economy has been in crisis since the 2011 uprising unseated the government and two major militant attacks in 2015 damaged the country's tourism industry, which accounted for eight percent of gross domestic product. The protests also saw the fall of former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as well.

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