People take part in a protest in Tunis, capital of Tunisia, on Jan. 12, 2018. A total of 778 people have been arrested in Tunisia after three nights of clashes between protesters and security forces over price hikes, said the Interior Ministry on Friday. (Xinhua/Adele Ezzine)
TUNIS, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — A total of 778 people have been arrested in Tunisia after three nights of clashes between protesters and security forces over price hikes, said the Interior Ministry on Friday.
They have been arrested over charges of looting, ransacking, blocking roads and vandalism, according to Colonel Khalifa Chibani, spokesman of the Interior Ministry.
Meanwhile, the ministry said the situation in Tunisia has been gradually calming.
The clashes have caused damage in 11 provinces to municipal depots, police stations, private businesses, commercial spaces and banks.
Protests were held over rising prices of fuels, mobile phone fees, cosmetics and internet tariffs, and the new finance law which increases certain taxes.
According to Chibani, 96 security guards were injured and 87 vehicles were damaged during the three nights of confrontation.
Among the individuals arrested, 16 were religious extremists, 11 of whom were taken into custody for direct involvement in and incitement to violence.
A report by the Tunisian National Directorate of National Security revealed that 31 percent of participants in looting and vandalism are between 15 and 20 years old, while 55 percent are between the ages of 21 and 30.