A small group of demonstrators gathered in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Thursday, demanding the release of hundreds arrested in anti-government protests.
Around 600 people were arrested, including more than 300 overnight between Wednesday and Thursday, during unrest across the north African nation over prices and taxes.
Army troops have been deployed in several cities to help quell the unrest, 7 years after the overthrow of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in the first of the Arab Spring revolts.
Tunisia’s investment minister said, the government, which is under pressure to cut a ballooning deficit and satisfy international lenders, will not revise austerity measures in the 2018 budget despite the spate of protests.
Tunisia’s unity government , which includes Islamists, secular parties and independents – has portrayed the unrest as driven by criminal elements.
Tunisia’s state statistics institute showed the trade deficit widening in December to a record 15.592 billion Tunisian dinars ($6.25 billion).
Unemployment nationally exceeds 15 percent, and is much higher in some marginalized regions of the interior.