Tunisian govt hopes that days of food protests are subsiding

Tunisians demonstrate outside government HQ in Tunis

Anti-Austerity Protests Simmer in Tunisia

Almost 800 Tunisians have now been arrested following clashes which broke out as a result of mass demonstrations against government austerity measures.

So far, one person has died and more than 200 people have been arrested as protests continue to expand to small towns after activists and politicians denounced increases in Value-Added Tax and the introduction of social contributions at the start of the year as a tough new budget was implemented.

The army deployed some 2,100 troops to different parts of the country after protesters torched government buildings, looted shops and blocked roads, after the government's announcement of austerity measures in this year's budget.

Tunisia's government said protests over rising food prices appeared to be subsiding Friday following days of clashes with police that left one person dead and scores injured.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khalifa al-Shaibani confirmed in a statement to that the total number of detainees since the beginning of recent events in a number of areas reached 773 people. "Those over 40 are estimated at 1.4 per cent", he explained.

"Thirty-one and half per cent of those arrested are between the ages of 15 and 20, 54.9 per cent between the ages 20 and 30 and 11.7 per cent are between 31 and 40".

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