One Killed as Protests against Rising Prices Build up in Tunisia

Protests against a set of austerity measures including price and tax hikes swept across Tunisia leaving one person dead.

Clashes between Police and hundreds of protesters took place in Tebourba, some 40 km (25 miles) from Tunis leaving one killed and Five people wounded, the Tunisian news agency said.

The deceased suffered from chronic breathing problems and died due to suffocation from inhaling tear gas, the news agency said, denying reports that he was run over by a vehicle belonging to security forces.

The protest had turned violent when security forces tried stopping some youths from burning down a government building, witnesses told the media.

Tunisia, widely seen in the West as the only democratic success among nations where “Arab Spring” revolts took place in 2011, is suffering increasing economic hardship.

Anger has been building up since the government said that, from Jan. 1, it would increase the price of gasoil, some goods, and taxes on cars, phone calls, the internet, hotel accommodation and other items, part of austerity measures agreed with foreign lenders.

The 2018 budget also raises customs taxes on some products imported from abroad, such as cosmetics, and some agricultural products.

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