Video: Arab leaders fear spread of Tunisian unrest

  1. Closed captioning of: Arab leaders fear spread of Tunisian unrest

    >>> another crisis, now the firestorm in the streets of tunisia which isn't dying down. the president who held power for decade there's is gone, forced out of the country. but parts of his regime are still in place. and the people there aren't having it. meanwhile the rest of the arab world is afraid there could be uprisings like it in their country that is could also quickly get out of hand. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in the capitol of tunisia tonight.

    >> reporter: good evening, brian. they know the struggle to accomplish the first successful popular revolt in the arab world in decades is far from over. the protesters were back on the streets today and with more demands. they battled with police who launched tear gas into the crowd. the injured were carted away in trucks. these were the most violent clashes since demonstrators forced tunisia 's president of 23 years to flee to saudi arabia last week. all then ben ali is gone, members of his party still control tunisia 's key government ministries. today, at least five opposition leaders resigned, saying they won't serve with the old government.

    >> ben ali get out of our country because they are killers.

    >> reporter: 31-year-old insurance salesman malik al zawi told us he'll stay on the streets until tunisia has a new democratic government and freedom of expression . police barricades have been set up on most streets here. but what's happening here in tunisia is sending shock waves across the arab world . there's now talk of spreading the tunisian model. two people tried to burn themselves to death to copy a tunisian suicide last month that triggered the demonstration. there have been similar self-emulations. many share tunisia 's frustration with corruption, high prices and authoritarian rule, the former first lady layla trabelsi has long been unpopular because of her lavish spending, often called mafia own stakes in tunisia 's biggest companies. there are reports trabelsi stole from the central bank before leaving with her husband. the bank has denied it. arab governments, brian, are scrambling to prevent this from spreading. egypt is hosting an economic summit now focused on lowering prices, jordan and syria both backed away from plans to cut subsidies and oil rich kuwait announced it's giving every single citizen the equivalent of $3,500.

    >> richard engel on the ground reporting that story for us,

updated 1/18/2011 5:13:43 PM ET 2011-01-18T22:13:43

At least four opposition ministers quit Tunisia's day-old unity government Tuesday, aligning themselves with demonstrators who insist democratic change is impossible while so many supporters of the freshly ousted president are hoarding posts of power.

Police in riot gear forcefully put down a demonstration of the sort that toppled the North African country's longtime autocratic leader last week, pummeling a demonstrator with batons and boot kicks — and highlighting a question on many minds: Is the new regime really much different?

As Tunisia struggles to move past the rioting, looting and score-settling that has marked the political transition, there was a growing sense Tuesday that it will be difficult for the interim government to hold together and pave the way toward elections expected within six to seven months.

After the initial exhilaration of last week, when a populist uprising ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power and sent him fleeing to Saudi Arabia — sounding a warning bell for other political strongmen in the region — many are fretting about what it ultimately meant.

Video: Street clashes continue in Tunisia

"I am afraid that our revolution will be stolen from me and my people. The people are asking for freedoms and this new government is not. They are the ones who oppressed the people for 22 years," said Ines Mawdud, a 22-year-old student among protesters at the demonstration.

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Tunisia's outlawed Ennahdha Islamist party said its members also marched Tuesday — something that was unthinkable during the rule of Ben Ali, who banned the group in 1992 and waged an ongoing crackdown against it. Authorities had accused the group of forming a military wing to kill Ben Ali and establish a Muslim fundamentalist state. Group leaders said their confessions were extracted through torture.

Hamadi Jebali, a spokesman for the party, told AP it wants "a chance to let the people of Tunisia choose their leaders and to have a chance to accept or reject us via the polls."

Story: Tour operators cancel trips to Tunisia

Ben Ali was often criticized for a heavy-handed crackdown on Islamists and opponents, for curbing civil liberties and for running a police state — though he was praised for turning his country into a successful tourist haven and was an ally in the U.S. fight against terrorism.

Interactive: Tunisia protests, country profile (on this page)

In an attempt to distance themselves from Ben Ali, the country's interim president and prime minister quit the ruling RCD party on Tuesday. The RCD party also kicked out Ben Ali, its founder, national television reported. It was not immediately clear how protesters would greet those moves.

Also Tuesday, political leader Moncef Marzouki returned from more than 20 years of exile in France to a joyful reception at Tunis' airport from supporters who carried him on their shoulders.

Marzouki, a physician and human rights activist who leads the once-banned CPR party and wants to run for president, urged fellow Tunisians to hold firm in their efforts to bring down Ben Ali's party.

"Don't let anyone steal this blessed revolution from you," Marzouki said, adding: "Don't waste the blood of our martyrs." That was a reference to the 78 protesters and civilians who died in the protests that swept Ben Ali from power. Many were killed by police bullets.

Slideshow: State of emergency in Tunisia (on this page)

In another blow to the Mediterranean country, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism, several European tour operators said they have canceled trips to Tunisia through mid-February due to safety concerns.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that about 70 U.S. citizens, including officials and private citizens, were flown out of Tunis today to Rabat, Morocco.

The United States is hoping Tunisia will take a path that includes "open and fair elections" and "investigating the abuses of the past," he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also urged "broad-based consultations ... to establish an inclusive interim government leading to the holding of timely and credible elections," U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

The new unity government announced Monday was mostly made up of old guard politicians. The four ministers who quit Tuesday had been invited in though they were long critical of the ruling party.

Junior Minister for Transportation and Equipment Anouar Ben Gueddour told The Associated Press that he had resigned along with Houssine Dimassi, the labor minister, and minister without portfolio Abdeljelil Bedoui.

The three ministers are all members of a top labor union, the UGTT. It is not a party but a movement that acts like a lobby and has a big nationwide base to mobilize people around the country.

The group's supporters staged the protest in central Tunis on Tuesday, calling for a general strike, constitutional changes and the release of all imprisoned union leaders.

Health Minister Mustapha Ben Jaafar of the FDLT opposition party also resigned, party member Hedi Raddaoui told the AP.

Meanwhile, police fired tear gas at protesters angry that the old guard retained so much power.

On a back street off Avenue Bourguiba, a key thoroughfare where the clashes took place, about 50 UGTT members waved union flags and cheered. One sign read "RCD out" in English.

Union leaders said protesters calling for the RCD to be disbanded held peaceful demonstrations in Sidi Bouzid, the city where virulent criticism of Ben Ali's government first erupted last month. Tunisian television said there were protests in at least seven cities.

Mohamed Ghannouchi, who has been prime minister since 1999, said that ministers from Ben Ali's party were included in the new government "because we need them in this phase."

Tunisia has entered "an era of liberty," Ghannouchi said in an interview with France's Europe-1 radio posted on its website. "Give us a chance so that we can put in place this ambitious program of reform."

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He insisted the ministers chosen "have clean hands, in addition to great competence," suggesting that experienced officials are needed along with opposition leaders in a caretaker government to guide the country before free elections are held.

Ghannouchi pledged Monday to free political prisoners and lift restrictions on a leading human rights group, the Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights. He said the government would create three state commissions to study political reform, investigate corruption and bribery, and examine abuses during the recent upheaval.

The protests that forced out Ben Ali on Friday began after an educated but unemployed 26-year-old man set himself on fire last month when police confiscated the fruit and vegetables he was selling without a permit. The desperate act hit a nerve, sparking copycat suicides and focused anger against the regime into a widespread revolt.

Public protests spread over years of state repression, corruption, and a shortage of jobs for many educated young adults.

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Reports of self-immolations surfaced in nearby countries, in apparent imitation of the Tunisian events. In the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, a 25-year-old unemployed man died in a hospital on Tuesday after setting himself on fire. Three other Egyptians have set themselves on fire and survived. In Algeria, there have been seven self-immolations, and one person has died.

Arab leaders are moving forward to finally implement a proposed $2 billion program to revamp the faltering economies across the region amid fears of protests such as those that brought down Tunisia's government.

The downfall of the 74-year-old Ben Ali, who had taken power in a bloodless coup in 1987, served as a warning to other autocratic leaders in the Arab world. His Mediterranean nation had seemed more stable than many in the region.

British Foreign Minister William Hague warned that it would be wrong to expect events in Tunisia to spark similar protests against other authoritarian regimes in the region.

"It's important to avoid thinking that the circumstances of one country are automatically replicated in another, even neighboring, country," he told BBC radio Tuesday.

___

Associated Press writers Angela Doland and Julien Proult in Paris, David Stringer in London, Desmond Butler in Washington and Anita Snow at the United Nations contributed to this report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Interactive: Tunisia protests, country profile

Photos: State of emergency

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  1. A Tunisian soldier talks with a woman during the sanitary service clean out in the Kasbah district after Tunisian inhabitants of Sidi Bouzid and protesters were evacuated following clashes with security forces in front of the government palace on Saturday, Jan. 29 in Tunis. Riot police and hundreds of protesters clashed in the Tunisian capital on January 28, 2011, as a new cabinet was sworn into office in a bid to end the unrest that has followed president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's ouster. Security forces fired warning shots and tear gas, as some groups threw stones in the main government quarter where protesters have remained camped out in front of Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi's offices for five days. (Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Tunisian sanitary service workers clean out a street in the Kasbah district on Jan. 29. (Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Tunisian protesters run away during clashes with riot police outside the prime minister's office in Tunis on Friday, Jan. 28. Tunisian security forces chased groups of protesters through central Tunis after dispersing hundreds of rural demonstrators holding a 24-hour sit-in outside government offices. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Tunisian riot police use their shields for cover during clashes with demonstrators after they stormed a protest camp outside the prime minister's office in Tunis on Jan. 28. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A man reads a newspaper with a story about the new ministers that have been put in the Tunisian government, at a street kiosk in downtown Tunis on Jan. 28. The Tunisian government ditched loyalists to its ousted president on Thursday -- a move which won backing from the powerful labor union and could help defuse protests. (Louafi Larbi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Tunisian students are blocked by security forces as they demonstrate in front of the Justice ministry in Tunis on January 27. Thousands took to the streets of Tunisia to call for old regime politicians to be ousted after the fall of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, as the cabinet prepared a reshuffle. (Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Tunisian protesters pull away barbed wire to let through the protesters on the other side of the police barricade near government offices in the Kasbah, the old city of Tunis, Jan. 27. Police blocked several roads leading up to the Kasbah in the Tunisian capital Tunis on Jan. 27 after a day of violent clashes on Jan. 26 between demonstrators and security forces who fired tear gas and left several people injured. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. A protester from Tunisia's marginalised rural heartlands chants slogans during a demonstration outside the prime minister's office in Tunis, Jan. 27. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Protesters help municipality workers clear up piles of rubbish on the streets left behind by fellow protesters who spent the night outside the prime minister's office in the Kasbah, the old city of Tunis Jan. 27. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Policemen try to calm down a pro-government protester as he shouts towards anti-government protesters during a demonstration in central Tunis on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Hundreds of Tunisians rallied on Tuesday in support of the interim government formed after the ousting of president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, but later clashed with protesters demanding a purge of former regime loyalists. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A man cuts himself with scissors as he protests outside the once feared Tunisian Interior Ministry. The man was placated by citizens and suffered no serious injuries on Jan. 25, in Tunis, Tunisia. (Christopher Furlong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. A boy hangs from the door as he shouts slogans during an anti-government demonstration in central Tunis on Jan. 25. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Inhabitants of the central Tunisia region of Sidi Bouzid chant slogans during a demonstration in front of the Government palace in Tunis on Jan. 23. The protesters came from a poverty-stricken rural region where the crackdown against protesters in the final days of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's 23-year regime was at its harshest. (Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Protesters who marched from the rural areas of Tunisia as part as the 'Liberation Caravan' take a rest outside the prime minister's office on Jan. 23, in Tunis, Tunisia. (Christopher Furlong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Tunisians light candles during a nighttime vigil in downtown Tunis, Jan. 22. Protesters in Tunisia, emboldened by their overthrow of the president a week ago, took to the streets Saturday to try and force out his lieutenants, whom they accuse of clinging to power in the face of popular anger. (Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Tunisian soldiers stand guard near the Prime Minister's office during a demonstration in Tunis, Jan. 22. Tunisia's interim prime minister promised to quit politics after the elections, a pledge intended to appease protesters demanding remnants of the old guard leave a unity coalition formed after the overthrow of the president. (Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Police officers celebrate as they demonstrate in Tunis, Saturday, Jan. 22. Tunisia's once-feared police who carried out the repressive policies of their now exiled president are joining hands with protesters who brought down the dictator. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. A protester gestures in front of the headquarters of the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party of ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali during a demonstration in downtown Tunis on Jan. 20, 2011. (Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. People demonstrate on Jan. 20 in Tunis against the former president's Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) in a new wave of anger about the presence of RCD stalwarts in the transitional government. (Martin Bureau / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Protesters kiss and embrace soldiers during a demonstration in Tunis on Jan. 20. Some observers have said that the army's restraint has helped to keep protests from escalating. (Martin Bureau / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Interim President Fouad Mebazaa (fifth from right) and Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi (bottom left) attend the first session of the newly appointed transitional cabinet on Jan. 20 at the government palace in Tunis. (Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. A soldier pushes back a protester as he shows that he is unarmed during a demonstration in front of the headquarters of the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party on Jan. 20. Police fired shots into the air to try to disperse hundreds of protesters demanding that ministers associated with the ousted president leave the government. (Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Family of Mohamed Bouazizi pray and mourn at his grave in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid on Wednesday, Jan. 19. Bouazizi, a vegetable salesman, set himself on fire on Dec. 17, igniting protests that forced ex-president Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali to flee the country. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. A man looks at inscriptions written on the walls in the scorched and looted home belonging to the nephew of ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Hammamet, southeast of Tunis on Jan. 19. (Martin Bureau / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Protesters carry a coffin symbolizing the death of the Constitutional Democratic Rally party of ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali during a demonstration in downtown Tunis on Jan. 19. Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in the Tunisian capital on Wednesday to demand the dismissal from the new coalition government of ministers associated with ousted president Ben Ali. (Finbarr O'Reilly / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. A woman reacts during a demonstration against the Constitutional Democratic Rally party of deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in central Tunis on Jan. 19. (Thibault Camus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. A protestor throws back tear gas at the police during clashes after a demonstration against the Constitutional Democratic Rally, RCD, party of Ben Ali in the center of Tunis on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Four ministers quit Tunisia's day-old government on Tuesday, undermining its hopes of quelling unrest by sharing power with members of the opposition to the old regime. Clashes broke out in central Tunis around the time the resignations were announced, as police fought off protesters demanding that the new cabinet be purged of the old guard that served Ben Ali. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Protestors hold bread as they face riot police officers during a demonstration against the Constitutional Democratic Rally, RCD, party of Ben Ali in the center of Tunis, on Jan. 18. 2011. Four ministers quit Tunisia's day-old government on Tuesday, undermining its hopes of quelling unrest by sharing power with members of the opposition to the old regime. Clashes broke out in central Tunis around the time the resignations were announced, as police fought off protesters demanding that the new cabinet be purged of the old guard that served Ben Ali. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. A man lies injuried during a demonstration in Tunis on Jan.18. Riot police fired tear gas and clashed with protesters on January 18 at a small protest rally against Tunisia's new government in the centre of the capital, AFP reporters on the ground saw. Around 100 protesters chanted slogans against the RCD party of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. "We can live on bread and water alone but not with the RCD," they said. Riot police dispersed the rally -- one of several expected. (Fred Dufour / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Tunisian opposition figure Moncef Markouzi celebrates is he is welcomed by supporters, after arriving at the international airport of Tunis on Jan. 18, 2010. Tunisia's day-old government was shaken by the resignation of four ministers on Tuesday, undermining its hopes of quelling simmering unrest by sharing power with members of the opposition to the old regime. (Thibault Camus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. A demonstrator reacts as security forces use water canons to disperse protesters downtown Tunis on Monday, Jan. 17. Police disperesed crowds after demonstrators took to the streets demanding that the ruling party of the ousted president give up power. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. People demonstrate in central Tunis on Jan. 17. Tunisian protesters called for the abolition of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's ruling party amid a chaotic power vacuum as politicians prepared a government of national unity. Hundreds of people rallied in Tunis and there were similar protests in Sidi Bouzid and Regueb in central Tunisia - two towns at the heart of the movement that forced Ben Ali to resign and flee on Friday after 23 years in power. (Fred Dufour / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. A demonstrator argues with a policeman during a protest in central Tunis on Jan. 17. Hundreds rallied in central Tunis on Monday to demand the abolition of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's ruling party. Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi was a close ally of Ben Ali and held talks with opposition parties on Sunday to form a national unity government. (Fred Dufour / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Police beat a demonstrator in central Tunis on Jan. 17. (Fred Dufour / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Tunisian Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, left, speaks with Tunisian interim President Foued Mbazaa upon his arrival at the Prime Ministry at the Casbah, in Tunis, Tunisia, on Jan 17. The army continued to patrol the streets as the country awaited the formation of a new national unity government. Tanks were still being deployed on the main avenue in Tunis and army helicopters flew over the city as the administration of interim President Foued Mabazaa sought to stamp out the lawlessness that took hold after longtime leader Zine el-Abidine ben Ali abruptly left power on Jan. 14. (EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Protestors greet soldiers during a demonstration against former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the center of Tunis on Jan. 17. Helicopters circled overhead as police used tear gas to break up a demonstration on the main avenue in central Tunis. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. People view the ransacked home of Kaif Ben Ali, nephew of former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, in the Mediterranean resort of Hammamet, about 40 milesfrom the capital on Sunday, Jan. 16. Several hundred people filed through the home of Kaif Ben Ali, taking photographs, picking up plants as souvenirs and stripping out plumbing fixtures, two days after the president was ousted. The home was also set ablaze, according to witnesses. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. A woman tries to convince army soldiers to allow her to cross a street in Tunis on Saturday, Jan. 15. Hundreds of soldiers patrolled the streets of the Tunisian capital on Saturday where the prime minister was met opposition parties in an attempt to form a coalition after protests swept the president from power. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Workers clean a train station dammaged overnight, on Jan. 15 in Tunis. Looting took place overnight in the suburbs of Tunis, witnesses said. (Fred Dufour / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. A protester hits a policeman during clashes with riot police in downtown Tunis on Friday, Jan. 14. Tunisian President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali stepped aside on Friday after failing to quell the worst anti-government unrest in his two decades in power. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Protesters carry an unconscious woman during clashes with riot police in the downtown of the capital Tunis on Jan. 14. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Women run during clashes with riot police in downtown Tunis, Jan. 14. Tunisian President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali declared a state of emergency on Friday and warned that protesters would be shot in an increasingly frantic effort to quell the worst unrest in his two decades in power. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, center, addresses the nation on state television Friday. He said that he had taken over as interim president after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had left the country. (Channel 7 / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. A column of smoke rises from buildings during clashes in Tunis on Friday. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. Plain clothed police and riot police officers clash with demonstrators in Tunis. Tunisia's president left the country as gunfire echoed in the North African country's usually calm capital. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. Demonstrators gather in front of the interior ministry in Tunis on Friday demanding President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali resign. Thousands of angry demonstrators marched through Tunisia's capital a day after the country's autocratic leader appeared on TV to try to stop deadly riots that have swept the North African nation. (Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. "No to Ben Ali, the uprising continues," hundreds shouted in a march down the main boulevard in central Tunis. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. A demonstrator throws a stone at police during clashes in Tunis on Friday. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. Riot police officers detain a protestor during clashes in Tunis on Friday. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. Protesters chant slogans against President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunis on Friday. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. General secretary of the opposition Progressive Democratic party (PDP) Maya Jeridi, center, shouts slogans in front the Interior ministry in Habib Bourguiba avenue in Tunis on Friday. (Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. People wait in front of the departure gate at the airport in Tunis on Friday. The army took control of the main international Tunis Carthage airport on January 14 and the country's airspace was shut down, an airport source told AFP, as weeks of unrest escalated. (Fred Dufour / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  53. President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali addresses the nation on Thursday. Ben Ali, facing a wave of violent unrest, said he would not change the constitution to allow him to run again when his term expires in 2014. (Handout via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  54. Supporters of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali demonstrate in Tunis on Thursday night. (Christophe Ena / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  55. Rescue workers evacuate unidentified victims of violence on stretchers in Tunis on Thursday. (Hedi Ben Salem / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  56. Newly appointed interior minister Ahmed Friaa attends an extraordinary session at the Chamber of Deputies in Tunis on Thursday. (Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  57. Tunisian security forces face demonstrators during clashes on Monday in Regueb, near Sidi Bouzid. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  58. A demonstrator injured in clashes with security forces on Sunday in Regueb, near Sidi Bouzid. Protests sparked by high youth unemployment spread from the central town of Sidi Bouzid to other parts of the country. (EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  59. A child holds a sign asking for the release of people kept in custody by police following recent protests, during a demonstration in Tunis on Jan. 8. (Hassene Dridi / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  60. Lawyer Abderrahman Ayedi takes off his shirt during a meeting in Tunis on Dec. 29 to show to human rights activist and lawyer Radhia, second from right, marks on his body. He said that he had been subjected to torture the previos day after he was arrested by police. (Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  61. President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, second from left, meets patient Mohamed Bouazizi during a visit at the Ben Arous hospital near Tunis on Dec. 28. Bouazizi, a 26-year-old university graduate, had set himself on fire in a protest over unemployment, sparking a wave of unrest and clashes. (Handout via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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