Tunisian President declares state of emergency

The Tunisian President has declared a state of emergency as rioters clashed with police in the capital.

The Tunisian President has declared a state of emergency as rioters clashed with police in the capital.

Tunisia’s official news agency reported the move by President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

An AP Television News reporter heard gunfire in the centre of Tunis as well as the popping of tear gas pistols as police fired on protesters.

Police have repeatedly fired on crowds during nearly a month of riots.

The president announced earlier in the day that he would dismiss his government and call new legislative elections after thousands of protesters marched through the capital to demand his removal.

Protesters have been fuelled by pent-up anger at high unemployment and at a leadership many see as controlling and corrupt.

Meanwhile medical officials reported 13 people had died in new unrest when the President went on television late on Thursday to announce concessions designed to end the protests.

Hundreds of foreign tourists were being flown home as fears grew of worsening unrest.

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