AP News

Unrest marks Tunisia revolution anniversary event


TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Protesters threw stones and tomatoes at Tunisian leaders on Monday at a ceremony to mark two years since the start of an uprising that changed regimes around the Arab world.

Some 3,000 people demanding jobs and angry at the moderate Islamist-led government protested at the ceremony. They threw projectiles and booed President Moncef Marzouki, who urged patience and said he has no "magic wand" to bring down unemployment.

But protesters complained that they have seen little improvement in their region since the new government took power. Some held signs saying, "The people want the fall of the government and a new revolution."

Marzouki and the other dignitaries who spoke had to be escorted off the stage by security forces.

The ceremony Monday marked two years since the day when a street vendor set himself on fire to protest pressure from authorities under longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Vendor Mohamed Bouazizi's act set off demonstrations that spread around Tunisia and several Arab countries.

In recent weeks, Tunisia's stagnant economy has fueled a face-off between the ruling party and the main labor union, and one region saw days of rioting.

Tunisia's radical Islamists have also grown increasingly vocal, and disaffected youth stage sporadic protests that sometimes degenerate into violence.


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