Tear gas fired to quell protests

Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in central Tunis yesterday as pressure grew for the removal of government ministers linked to ousted president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

The protesters, mostly from marginalised rural areas who had camped out overnight at the Prime Minister's office, broke windows at the nearby finance ministry building.

The teachers' union also called a strike, destabilising efforts to reopen primary schools and bring the country back to normal.