Tunisian football fans clash with police amid unrest

930 people have been arrested since social unrest erupted a week ago

TUNIS: Tunisian soccer fans have clashed with police in the capital two days after a match was cancelled amid nationwide economic protests.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khalifa Chibani said more than 1,000 fans of club Esperance Sportive de Tunis gathered on Monday evening in the working class Bab Souika neighbourhood of Tunis.

Chibani said the crowd attacked a government building with stones and bottles, before police fired back with tear gas.

The Tunisian team was scheduled to play a friendly match with a Palestinian team on Saturday. The club’s management cancelled the match because authorities steeply reduced the number of people allowed to attend, citing security reasons.

Price hikes have trigged days of protests and rioting across Tunisia. Many Tunisians accuse authorities of betraying the 2011 revolution that sparked uprisings across the Arab world.

On Monday, authorities said more than 930 people have been arrested since social unrest erupted a week ago, fuelled by unemployment, corruption and austerity measures in the 2018 budget.

“A total of 937 people are in custody” after acts of violence, theft or vandalism, interior ministry Chibani said.


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