Tunisian police fired tear gas to disperse an anti-government protest yesterday in the southwest of the country triggered by a recent deadly boat accident, local media and witnesses reported.
Security forces clashed with protesters in the province of Kebili after they had torched local administration offices and blocked a major road in the area, they added.
The demonstrators also demanded authorities carry out development projects in the area in order to dissuade jobless locals from going on risky voyages to Europe.
No casualties were reported in yesterday’s violence.
On Sunday, eight people, aboard a boat carrying illegal migrants, died when it sank after colliding with a navy vessel east of Tunisia, the defence ministry said.
Eight bodies were recovered and 38 Tunisians were rescued, the ministry added.
The survivors said there were more than 90 people aboard the boat that was heading to Italy at the time of the collision.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has expressed concerns about a recent rise in illegal migration from Tunisia.
In recent months, several parts of Tunisia have seen demonstrations against unemployment, raising fears of social unrest in the country.
The North African country has been in the grip of an economic slowdown resulting from the unrest that followed the 2010 revolt and a series of militant attacks.
A group of Tunisians arrive yesterday on a rubber boat after being rescued by the Tunisian navy off the coast of Bizerte.