Protests over unemployment rates in Tunisia, which started in the western Kasserine province, have intensified and spread to other parts of the country. Solidarity rallies were held in cities including Tunis, Sidi Bouzid and Gafsa on Thursday, with several reports of suicide attempts as frustration over the lack of jobs boiled over.
A policeman was reportedly killed when demonstrators overturned his car in the town of Feriana. Protests and clashes with security forces started in Kasserine on Saturday after the death of an unemployed man who was electrocuted on top of a power pole near the governor’s office.
Ridha Yahyaoui, 28, was protesting because his name was removed from a list of hires for coveted public sector jobs. The government has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. Speaking to Al Jazeera on Thursday night, Wajdi Khadraoui, a Kasserine-based activist, said that protests were ongoing “in neighbourhoods throughout Kasserine”. The city of Kasserine is near the Algerian border, and like in many of the country’s peripheries, locals feel neglected by the government.