In Tunisia, Clashes Continue as Power Shifts a Second Time

TUNIS — Tanks, police officers and gangs of newly deputized young men wielding guns held the deserted streets of Tunis Saturday night after a day of sporadic rioting and gunfire. Power changed hands for the second time in 24 hours, and the swift turnabout raised new questions about what kind of government might emerge from the chaos engulfing Tunisia.

The interim government named Friday had hoped that the toppling of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who fled the country, would satisfy protesters, but continued unrest Saturday made clear that they were determined to chase his allies from power as well.

Bursts of gunfire rang out through the capital all day Saturday, and a patient discharged from a major hospital here reported that the emergency room was packed with people suffering gunshot wounds.

After a hail of machine-gun fire in the late afternoon in downtown Tunis, snipers were visible on the rooftop of the Interior Ministry, aiming down at the Boulevard Bourguiba. Human rights groups said that they had confirmed dozens of deaths at ... >>>

recommended by Aladin Katoor