Violence flares again in Arab Spring town

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A boy of 14 was reportedly killed by "a stray bullet" during a violent protest in the Tunisian town where the uprisings that have swept the Arab world began.

Demonstrators hurled petrol bombs at security forces, and police and soldiers responded with warning shots in the overnight violence, the official TAP news agency reported. Two other protesters were seriously hurt in clashes in the poor inland town of Sidi Bouzid, where residents say little has changed since demonstrations erupted there in December over unemployment, corruption and repression.

Those rallies spread throughout Tunisia, forcing the autocratic president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee and inspiring anti-government protests in several Arab countries.

The momentum of the Arab Spring now appears to be stalling, however. Tunisia, a symbol of the movement, has seen a resurgence of violent protests in recent days, as the interim government struggles to build a new democracy.

In the latest protest in Sidi Bouzid, youths gathered late on Sunday night to throw petrol bombs and rocks at police and soldiers, TAP reported. Nine people were arrested.