North African economic woes spread to Tunisia

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CAIRO — The economic unrest sweeping through North Africa has reached Tunisia.

Tunisians clashed with riot police in several cities in the North African state. Reports said up to 20 people were killed in Thala, about 200 kilometers southwest of Tunis, while the government eventually acknowledged 14 dead.

“The police opened fire in legitimate self-defense and this led to two dead and eight wounded, as well as several wounded among police, three of them seriously,” a Tunisian government statement said on Jan. 9.

This marked the bloodiest protests in Tunisia in decades. In late 2010, Tunisia was struck by violent unrest unleashed by economic conditions.

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