Tunisian police arrest 44 after unrest

TUNIS — Tunisian security forces have arrested 44 people following last week’s violence in anti-government demonstrations, the official TAP news agency quoted a security official as saying Friday.

Three prison escapees were among those detained in a roundup conducted by police “in collaboration with units of the national army and residents of the region”, the official said.

Several days of violence and pillaging prompted the government on May 7 to announce an overnight curfew for Tunis and its suburbs from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am for an indeterminate period of time.

The capital has been rocked by a series of protests against the transitional government installed following the January uprising that led to the fall of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power.

Young men armed with knives, chains and sabres last week burned down five police stations in five cities.

Youths ransacked and pillaged a major electrical goods store and a pharmacy and set fire to several vehicles in Ettadhamen, a deprived district outside Tunis.

Among the latest arrests were five for public drunkenness and indecency, two for the illegal sale of alcohol and 10 implicated in the burning of the police stations, said the source.

On May 10, Tunisian authorities announced the arrest of more than 600 people in the aftermath of unrest.

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