Frustration over high unemployment and rising food prices has erupted in deadly riots in Tunisia, where clashes between youth protesters and security forces killed at least 23 people over the past week, according to UPI.The violence was the worst since protests broke out in December against the government’s inability to stem chronic joblessness, particularly among Tunisia’s youth population.
In an effort to quell further unrest in the wake of the recent death toll, Tunisia’s prime minister said Wednesday that everyone arrested during the protests would be released. At the same time, troops were deployed in the capital, where riots flared for the first time Tuesday night, according to AFP.
This Sunday Jan. 9, 2011 photo shows a masked demonstrator holding a bar of metal in a street of Regueb, Tunisia. On Monday Tunisia temporarily shut down all of its high schools and universities as it tried to stop deadly riots over joblessness and poor prospects for youths. (AP Photo/Abu Omar)
Masked youths walks back from a demonstration in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, Monday Jan. 10, 2011. Riots linked to widespread unemployment and high prices kill led at least 21 people in the last week, the government said Wednesday. labour and human rights groups have provided higher death counts. (AP Photo)
This Sunday Jan. 9 2011 photo shows demonstrators clashing with riot police in a street of Regueb, Tunisia. Tunisian security forces have cracked down on protests, prompting calls for restraint from Europe and the U.S. (AP Photo/Abu Omar)
A soldier drives an armoured vehicle through Ettadhamoun, west of Tunis, Wednesday Jan.12, 2011. Riots were reported late Tuesday in the Ettadhamoun neighbourhood five kilometers (three miles), from Tunis, the first time the violence has reached so near the capital. The government has imposed a nightly curfew starting Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hedi Ben Salem)
A demonstrator holds a sign asking for the release of Tunisians, kept in custody by police following recent protests, during a demonstration held in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday Jan. 8, 2011. Youths in the North African nation have been rioting for days following sudden price hikes for staples including sugar, flour and oil. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
People chant slogans as they appeal for the release of Tunisians, kept in custody by police following recent protests, during a demonstration, in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday Jan. 8, 2011. Tunisia's prime minister said Wednesday the country's interior minister has been fired after deadly protests over unemployment and also announced that most prisoners arrested during nearly a month of riots are being freed.Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi said Wednesday that everyone arrested in the past few days will be released other than those accused of vandalism and looting. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
A man kisses the Tunisian flag during a demonstration in Tunis, Tunisia, against high prices and unemployment, Saturday Jan. 8, 2011. Witnesses say five people were injured after security forces opened fire on protesters during another street demonstration over high unemployment in central Tunisia. One witness, a union official, says a police officer also was injured in the protest in Saida in which demonstrators set fire to tires and threw stones in the latest in three weeks of unrest. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
A young man watches Tunisian police forces in the wake of the weekend's violent street demonstrations.
A youth looks on as riot police officers are seen in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, Monday Jan. 10, 2011. The wave of protests was sparked by the December 17 suicide of a 26-year-old university graduate who set himself on fire after police stopped him from selling fruit and vegetables without a permit. Five suicides have since been linked to the protests. (AP Photo)
Tunisians queue for jobs in a protest at the local government representative building in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, Monday Jan. 10, 2011. Frustration with the country's chronically high unemployment rate has erupted in violent outbursts since mid-December. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridid)
Demonstrators stage a protest to calling for the resignation of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in Paris, Thursday Jan. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)