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26.07.2012 Tunisia

Tunisia police fire warning shots, tear gas at protesters

By AFP
Tunisian riot police stand on a street covered by debris after clashing with demonstrators near Sidi Bouzid.  By Str (AFP/File)
LISTEN JUL 26, 2012
Tunisian riot police stand on a street covered by debris after clashing with demonstrators near Sidi Bouzid. By Str (AFP/File)

SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia (AFP) - Tunisian police fired warning shots and tear gas on Thursday to disperse protesters who attacked provincial government headquarters in the town where the country's revolution was born, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

Dozens of people, angry over their living conditions, converged on the building in Sidi Bouzid and set fire to a tyre, which they threw inside.

Police responded with warning shots and tear gas, as demonstrators shouted "Ben Ali's police are back," in reference to the long-time dictator driven from office last year by a popular revolt.

The uprising against Zine El Abidine Ben Ali touched off a wave of political unrest across North Africa and the Middle East dubbed the Arab Spring. It was sparked when a street vendor in Sidi Bouzid, Mohamed Bouazizi, immolated himself in protest over his own precarious livelihood.

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