TUNIS — Tunisia imposed a curfew in two separate areas Friday following a series of clashes that left a 17-year-old girl dead and dozens injured, the interior ministry and local media said.
On Thursday evening a group of young people in the central-western town of Sbeitla set up a road block in an attempt to rob passing vehicles, interior ministry spokesman Mohamed Hichem Moueddeb told AFP.
When security forces arrived in the area the youths threw rocks in their direction and officers responded with warning shots, prompting several residents to leave their homes to see what was happening, Moueddeb explained.
The family of the dead teenager said she was killed by shots to the head, but refused to release the body for a hospital exam, so that claim could not be verified, Moueddeb said, adding that four others were lightly injured in the incident.
After news of the girl’s death spread, Sbeitla residents set fire to a police post, three buses and a railroad station, and ransacked the local hospital’s emergency room, the ministry spokesman said.
Following the unrest, authorities imposed a curfew in the area from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am Saturday.
Officials also put the southern town Douz under curfew following unrelated clashes where some 30 people were hurt, the official TAP news agency said.
Soldiers were sent to the town some 500 kilometres (310 miles) from the capital Tunis, but struggled to stamp out the violence, TAP reported.