On the third day of a protest fueled by austerity measures, tension does not diminish in Tunisia. New clashes erupted in the evening of Wednesday, January 10 between protesters and police in several cities.
Since Monday, social unrest has been recorded in the country, seven years after the beginning of the "Arab Spring" with a revolution that demanded work and dignity and brought down dictator Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.
Already last week, sporadic peaceful demonstrations had denounced rising prices and an austerity budget providing, among other things, for tax increases.
New outbreak of social fever in Tunisia
Massive fire of tear
In Siliana, in the north-west of the country, young people threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at security agents on Wednesday night and tried to break into a court in the center of the city. Police retaliated with tear gas.
Scuffles again took place in Kasserine, in the poor center of the country where young people under 20 tried to block roads with burning tires and threw stones at security agents.
Dozens of protesters also took to the streets of Tebourba, 30 km west of Tunis where was buried on Tuesday, the dead man during clashes on Monday night. Police fired back with massive tear gas fire.
According to local media, similar scenes took place in neighborhoods near the capital.
237 people arrested
During a visit to El-Battan, near Tebourba, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed condemned the acts of "vandalism" which, according to him, "serve interests of corrupt networks to weaken the state ". He accused the Popular Front, a left-wing party opposed to the budget.
In the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, 49 policemen were wounded, 237 people were arrested and pounds were attacked, the Interior Ministry reported, accusing thugs of being paid by political leaders. No record of possible injuries among the protesters could be obtained from the authorities.
The army was deployed around banks, post offices and other sensitive government buildings in the country's main cities, the defense ministry said.
If Tunisia, the only country that survived the Arab Spring, has managed to advance its democratic transition, it remains stuck in economic and social sluggishness.