The Tunisian Ministry of the Interior said on Sunday that it had arrested more than 240 people, most of them teenagers and boys, after violent confrontations with police and riots broke out in several Tunisian cities on Saturday.
And Sunday protests erupted in at least three cities. Clear demands were not announced during the violent Saturday protests, which the authorities and local media described as riots, but they come with growing anger over the difficult economic and social conditions, while the political elite focuses its attention on the battle for influence and the struggle for power.
Walid Hakima, a spokesman for the Internal Security Forces, said that the riot police arrested 242, most of them young men and children who vandalized property and tried to rob shops and banks. The protests represent a true test of the ability of the government of Prime Minister Hisham El-Mechichi to deal with it, while the political situation is witnessing great tension between the parties.
Violent confrontations broke out today in the town of Sbeitla and Kasserine, as security forces pursued protesters and fired tear gas canisters. In the town of Jalma, in the governorate of Sidi Bouzid, the police fired tear gas to disperse youths who blocked roads and burned tires to protest marginalization, poverty and unemployment.