Tunisia steps up efforts to calm rising violence

AP News
Posted: Sep 06, 2011 8:59 AM
Tunisia steps up efforts to calm rising violence

Tunisia's prime minister says authorities are stepping up enforcement of a state of emergency after pockets of violence erupted in recent days _ new instability after the country's revolution.

The nationally broadcast remarks by Beji Caid-Essebsi come ahead of Tunisia's Oct. 23 elections for an assembly that will write a new constitution in the wake of the fall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January.

Several poorer central and southwestern towns have been roiled by recent clashes. A nightly curfew has been decreed in the towns of Sbeitla, Douz and Metlaoui.

Caid-Essebsi said Tuesday that Tunisia is facing a "crisis" and state of emergency measures like bans on strikes that have been in place but loosely applied since Ben Ali's ouster will be reinforced.