Food, Heating Oil Riots Leave 35 Dead in Tunisia

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
By Paul Martin

‘Dozens killed’ in Tunisia protests
11 January 2011

At least 35 people have died in violent unrest in Tunisia, according to a human rights group.

The authorities have said 21 people were killed in protests in recent days.

Union and health officials suggest that 50 died in the town of Kasserine alone. Fresh protests broke out late on Tuesday in the capital, Tunis.

The protests over unemployment are widely seen as being fuelled by political frustrations. It is the most serious unrest in Tunisia for decades.

On Monday, the government ordered all schools and universities to be indefinitely closed following the demonstrations.

The head of the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (IFHRL), Souhayr Belhassen, said she had a list of 35 names, but the real number could be higher.

The IFHRL believes the death toll could be as many as 50, as does a Tunisian trade unionist, citing tolls issued by medical staff in a regional hospital in Kasserine.

“The number killed has passed 50,” Sadok Mahmoudi, a member of the regional branch of the Tunisian workers’

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