Tunisia again extends state of emergency

AP News
Posted: Nov 29, 2011 4:28 PM
Tunisia again extends state of emergency

Tunisian authorities have extended the North African nation's state of emergency for the rest of the year, the state news agency reported Tuesday.

The report did not give reasons for the extension, but Tunisia has faced intermittent bouts of violence and unrest in recent months. Some of the protests have involved hard-line Muslims or youths angry about high unemployment.

Interim President Fouad Mebazza signed the decree extending the state of emergency for the fourth time since it was first enacted during street unrest after the fall of Tunisia's longtime autocratic leader in January.

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled on Jan. 14 to Saudi Arabia after a monthlong popular uprising that inspired pro-democracy movements across the region.

Since Ben Ali's departure the country has been buffeted by violence in remote towns and ongoing demonstrations. There has also been some spillover from neighboring Libya's civil war.

With the Oct. 23 elections, however, the country appears to be calmer, aside from some scattered protests in the neglected towns of the interior.