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Africa Activists urge Tunisians to take to the streets again against austerity measures

ACTIVISTS called for Tunisians to take to the streets today in the latest series of protests sparked by government austerity measures.

The Interior Ministry said that it had arrested 778 people in several days of demonstrations.

One person has been killed and many injured.

The ministry said it expected the protests to die down, but that seemed unlikely — not least because this weekend marks seven years since the ousting of long-time ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay urged the government today to halt its use of “excessive force” against protesters.

The army has deployed 2,100 troops across the country.

The austerity measures, which came into force on January 1, increased taxes and the price of basics such as flour, fuel and phone calls, among other items.

The government accepted a four-year loan from the International Monetary Fund last year, worth over £2 billion, but its conditions include the usual IMF prescription of cuts, attacks on workers’ rights and tax rises on the poorest.

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