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Clarifications of Interior Ministry on Friday’s clashes in Kasbah

Published the:  29/01/2011

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January 29, 2011 - TAP - An authoritative source at the Interior Ministry denied categorically the news posted on some Internet sites on the death of an individual, on Friday January 28, 2011, during clashes between a group of young people and the police, at the Kasbah Square. In a communiqué received by Tunis Afrique Presse, the Ministry of the Interior presented clarifications on these events.
According to the communiqué “the security forces were conducting a periodic permutation, on Friday afternoon, concomitantly with the operation conducted by this unit to remove barriers at the Kasbah Square, in response to the call of the local inhabitants, tradesmen and craftsmen, who had reported the damage and inconvenience they suffered as a result of the difficulty of traffic and movement between the Souks of the Medina and the Bab Bnet and 9 Avril avenues.
When fulfilling their mission, security officers were attacked by surprise by some of the protesters who were observing a sit-in at the Kasbah Square and who thought that the operation of permutation of the police and easing of traffic aimed to attack them.
The ministry’s services underlined, in this regard, that the police officers were seeking to guarantee the interests of tradesmen, workers and inhabitants of the area, to ease their traffic and their movement. The same source said the group of demonstrators assaulted the security forces with sticks, bottles and pieces of marble and stone pulled out from the floor of the esplanade of Kasbah and the mausoleum of Martyr Farhat Hached. The units were forced, in self-defence, to react by using tear gas to disperse their raiders who fled to the Souks of the Medina then to city centre.
Looting targeted some trade and public premises at the level of the Souks or the Habib Bourguiba Avenue, Charles De Gaulle Street, Paris Avenue and the Square of the Republic where assaulters attacked the metro trains, seeking to plunder and destroy them.
Several citizens were attacked and 12 security officers injured, two of them were kept in hospital, one was attacked with a knife and the other suffered a compound fracture at the hand, underlines the communiqué. The Interior Ministry added that security officers, who were on the Kasbah Square, seized several knives of different kinds and arrested 28 persons, who were released later after co-ordination with the Office of Director of Public Prosecution.
The same source also said that “contrary to what was reported, no death was recorded among demonstrators and the photograph posted on the social network “Facebook” showing a dead demonstrator is in actual fact that of a victim in an another country”.