Tunisia's official TAP news agency says clashes between tribal factions killed five people and injured 90 others in a depressed southwestern region.

The report says the clashes erupted in the mining town of Metlaoui overnight Friday after rumors surfaced about a change in the recruitment policies of the region's main employer.

Residents opened fire with hunting rifles and lobbed firebombs. The report says barricades prevented law enforcement officials from immediately entering the town. A curfew has been declared.

In March, two people died in similar clashes in this region hit by chronic unemployment.

Frustration over joblessness also fueled nationwide demonstrations that toppled the North African country's autocratic leader in January.