Two dead in clashes over jobs in Tunisian town: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 9:55 AM
Two dead in clashes over jobs in Tunisian town: report

TUNIS (Reuters) - Two people were killed in clashes in Tunisia's central town of Metlaoui Friday, the official news agency TAP said, an indication of the insecurity in the north African country.

Tunisia has been struggling to restore stability since mass protests ousted president Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14 after 23 years in power.

The agency said members of rival tribal clans armed with hunting rifles and rocks fought street battles after a rumor spread in the town that only certain tribes would be offered jobs at the nearby Gafsa phosphate complex.

One soldier was injured in the clashes, TAP said, adding the rumor was unfounded. A Gafsa resident told Reuters by phone calm had returned to the area by early evening, adding that there was a heavy police and military presence.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara, writing by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Matthew Jones)