TUNIS, Tunisia – Tens of thousands of Tunisians are demonstrating against their economic problem in three cities, calling for greater investment in their impoverished regions.
General strikes were called in the northwestern city of Siliana, the southern phosphate mining city of Gafsa and in Gabes along the southeastern coast. Witnesses reported Wednesday that all shops and cafes were closed.
Demonstrators attacked government offices in Gafsa but were driven back by tear gas. They later burned the offices of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party that dominates the government.
Wealth and development in Tunisia has long been concentrated in the capital and along the coastal regions, leaving the interior impoverished with high unemployment rates.
Three years after the revolution that overthrew dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the economy has foundered across the country.