Tunisian prime minister announces resignation

Ghannouchi, 69, has been a major irritant to Tunisians behind the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” — weeks of public upheaval that drove longtime autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power last month.

Even though Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14, Ghannouchi had promised to stay on to guide the country until elections this summer.

Ghannouchi’s announcement on state TV and radio came a day after officials said at least four people had died in recent days in the capital during clashes between stone-throwing protesters and police.

The Interior Ministry, in a statement, blamed “provocateurs” for fomenting violence in otherwise peaceful rallies and for allegedly using young people as human shields in renewed demonstrations.

The ministry said three people died on Saturday, without elaborating. State TV showed a funeral of a 19-year-old man who was killed on Friday after being shot through the neck during protests on a central avenue.

Demonstrators fear the interim government has hijacked the revolution that drove Tunisia’s
longtime autocrat from power on January 14, sending shock waves through the Arab world.
Officials said nearly 200 people were arrested in the last two days. On Saturday, the police and troops backed by tanks used tear gas to disperse hundreds of youths protesting against the caretaker government.

Officers were seen chasing some youths through town after the rally ended. Authorities then ordered a temporarily ban on vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the capital’s central Bourguiba Avenue until midnight, the first of its kind since Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia.

Rally for reforms in Morocco

Almost 1,000 people rallied amid a heavy police presence in Morocco’s biggest city Casablanca on Sunday to demand political reforms and a new constitution, AFP reports from Rabat.

“There were nearly 1,000 people. Most of the slogans were calling for political reforms and a new constitution,” according to a witness. The protest took place nearly a week after thousands staged rallies demanding political reform and limits on the powers of King Mohammed VI under the so-called “February 20” movement. 

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