Tunisian police disperse protests against price hikes, unemployment

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebs during a recent press conference. Prices have been risen in the country as part of austerity measures agreed with foreign lenders. (AFP)
Updated 08 January 2018
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Tunisian police disperse protests against price hikes, unemployment

TUNIS: Tunisian police on Monday fired tear gas and clashed with hundreds of people protesting against unemployment, high prices and new taxes in two towns, according to reports.
The North African country raised from Jan. 1 the price of gasoil and some goods as well taxes on cars, phone calls, the Internet, hotel accommodation and other items, part of austerity measures agreed with its foreign lenders.
The economy has been in crisis since a 2011 uprising unseated the old regime and two major militant attacks in 2015 hit the tourism sector, which comprises eight percent of GDP and is a key source of foreign revenues.
Police fired tear gas in the central city of Thala to disperse hundreds demanding more development and jobs while protesting against high inflation.
The protesters burned wheels and threw stones at the police, Mohamed Hedi Omria, a resident, told Reuters. Clashes were also reported from Kasserine, another central town where hundreds protested against price increases.
In the capital Tunis, security forces dispersed small protests late on Sunday against rising prices and taxes.
On Monday, about 300 people took to the streets in the central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid carrying banners aloft with slogans denouncing high prices.


US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

Updated 19 September 2018
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US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

  • The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism
  • The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened

WASHINGTON: The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, accusing it of intensifying numerous conflicts and trying to undermine governments throughout the Middle East.
The State Department's annual survey of global terrorism released on Wednesday said Iran and its proxies are responsible for fomenting violence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened from the war in Syria and with valuable battlefield experience they seek to leverage elsewhere.

"Iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Lebanon," he said.
All three -- Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Iran -- "have both the capability and intent to strike the United States and our allies," State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales said.
The report indicated a general increase in global cooperation to fight terrorism, including tracking and blocking financial flows to the groups.
But this remains a challenge, Sales noted.
"You have got to stop the flow of money to these organizations."
"You have got to stop terrorist travel" as well, he added, pointing to the spread of airport detection systems like biometric face identification as a potent tool.
In addition, the survey reported a 24 percent decrease in attacks around the world between 2016 and 2017. That was due mainly to a sharp decline in the number of attacks in Iraq, where the Daesh group has been largely displaced.