Hundreds of protesters reportedly clashed with police in the Kasserine province town of Sbeitla early on Wednesday, October 13, following the bulldozing of an illegal cigarette kiosk in the area which led to the death of the vendor. Protesters reportedly broke into a number of government buildings, targeted businesses, erected roadblocks with burning tires, and threw stones at police who attempted to disperse them. Municipal officials who executed the demolition order were reportedly not aware that the vendor was asleep in the kiosk. Following the initial incident, Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi dismissed the governor of Kasserine province in an attempt to defuse local tensions which are often strained due to their complaints about police heavy-handedness in dealing with poor, marginalized people. Military personnel have since been deployed to the town to restore order and protect government buildings.
Further associated protests are likely in the area in the near term.
Those in the area are to monitor the situation, avoid all protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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