Riots reach Tunisia's capital, curfew imposed

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 13, 2011 01:35

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tear gas and stone-throwing youths reached the heart of Tunisia's once-calm capital Wednesday as rioters desperate for jobs defied their autocratic president in escalating unrest that poses his biggest challenge in 23 years in power.

The army deployed armored vehicles around Tunis, and the government imposed a virtually unprecedented curfew to try to quell protests over unemployment and political repression that began more than three weeks ago in a central Tunisian town. Outside the capital, at least two deaths were reported from police fire Wednesday.

The demonstrations have set off clashes with police as they spread around the country, leaving at least 23 dead and shattering Tunisia's image as an island of calm in a region beset by Islamist extremism.


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