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One dead, several injured in protest clashes in Tunisia

Middle East News
Mon, 22 May 2017

Tunis: A protester died and several more were injured during clashes with police on Monday in southern Tunisia, where tense protests over unemployment have gone on for weeks, a doctor at a local hospital said.

Sadok Bouharba, head of the intensive care unit at the hospital in Tataouine, said a 20-year-old man with broken legs and head injuries died after he started bleeding from his nose and ear.

Another person was admitted to the intensive care unit after suffering brain and eye injuries in Monday's clashes, Bouharba said.

More than 300 people were treated in the hospital for broken bones or respiratory problems from tear gas, he said.

Mohamed Hdia, who witnessed the confrontation in Tataouine, said the protesters set two local police stations and several security vehicles on fire. In the city centre, there was major damage and flaming tyres giving off smoke, Hdia said.

Demonstrators have been protesting high unemployment and a lack of oil industry jobs for Tataouine region residents.

They are demanding that oil companies hire 70 per cent of their workers from the local population and for the Tunisian government to allocate 20 per cent of the country's oil revenues to the region's economic development.

After clashes broke out and protesters tried to block roads to local production sites, the government decided on Sunday to send reinforcements from the National Guard to help army troops patrol the area.

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