Amid the tense aftermath of President Ben Ali’s downfall, local residents have taken to forming their own militias to counter the threat from forces loyal to the ex-dictator.
The fear is that vehicles entering their neighbourhoods could contain death squads.
Ben Ali may have gone, but his henchmen are believed to be on the rampage, killing and looting in a bid to cause panic.
Government vehicles and hire cars arouse particular suspicion.
“They’re forces belonging to the former regime, who want to cause chaos. They received orders from the former president before he fled,” said one resident.
The locals take up what arms they have. One man brandished a hammer as another pointed out a pool of blood.
They say a resident was shot by police hidden in an ambulance, who then fled leaving behind an incriminating badge.
The facts are hard to verify.
A crowd gathered at the victim’s house where his body had been laid out before his distraught mother.
The scenes that followed were violent. Amid a lynch mob atmosphere, the crowd administered its own justice.
A body lay on the ground, covered in blood. The victim was said to be a policeman – a holster was visible attached to his body.
At least two other suspects were caught and faced a bloody end as the mob vented its fury.