Tunisia’s government said on Tuesday that at least four more people have been killed in the country’s worst civil unrest for decades.
Authorities said the four protesters were killed in Kasserine as they clashed with riot police.
However, unions and human rights groups said the real death toll was nearly double the figure issued by the interior ministry.
The town of Kasserine has been a focus for recent protests against unemployment and lack of opportunity.
Several buildings including a furniture store were also torched.
Despite a government pledge to cut graduate unemployment, many Tunisians, especially in poorer areas, say they have failed to see improvement to their daily lives.
‘‘Young people are unemployed. Our sons, fathers and mothers are jobless. With a degree they work for 40 euros a month,” said one young woman.
Authorities have shut all schools and universities indefinitely to restore order.
Washington has expressed concern about the government’s handling of the protests, while the EU, the north African country’s biggest trading partner, said it deplored the loss of life.
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