18 arrested in Tunisia amid violent protests

18 arrested in Tunisia amid violent protests
Tunisian Police officers patrol after clashes in the streets of Kasserine, southern of Tunisia, Tuesday, Dec 25, 2018.The death of a Tunisian journalist Abderrak Zorgui who set himself on fire to protest economic problems in the North African nation prompted a protest that led to clashes with police and nationwide concern. (AP Photo/Mohamed Ben Salah)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian authorities say 18 people have been arrested during protests that erupted after the death of a journalist who set himself on fire to protest economic problems in the North African nation.

Interior ministry spokesman Sofiane Zaag said 13 were arrested in the provincial city of Kasserine and five others in Tebourba, near Tunis.

Clashes between police and Tunisian authorities took place in several regions over the past two days after journalist Abderrazak Zorgui posted a video online before his self-immolation in Kasserine describing his desperation and calling for revolt. He expressed frustration at unemployment and the unfulfilled promises of Tunisia’s 2011 Arab Spring revolution.

The most violent protests took place in Kasserine, in west central Tunisia, where police used tar gas to disperse stone-throwing demonstrators.