Tu­nisians torch build­ing over mi­grant boat col­li­sion

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - REGION -

Rel­a­tives of Tu­nisians who drowned af­ter a mi­grant boat col­lided with a navy ves­sel on the week­end set fire to a lo­cal gov­ern­ment build­ing Thurs­day in protest, of­fi­cials and an NGO said. In­te­rior min­istry spokesman Yasser Mes­bah said around 40 Tu­nisians torched the build­ing in the cen­tral town of Souk La­had and tried to set a po­lice sta­tion on fire. Po­lice fired tear gas to dis­perse the pro­test­ers, he said. At least eight mi­grants drowned Sun­day af­ter their boat sank fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with a Tu­nisian navy ves­sel in the Mediter­ranean, while 38 oth­ers were res­cued, the De­fense Min­istry has said. NGOs say around 40 more peo­ple are still miss­ing. In a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view Thurs­day evening, Prime Min­is­ter Youssef Cha­hed called the sink­ing of the mi­grant boat “a na­tional catas­tro­phe.” Romd­hane Ben Amor, of the Tu­nisian Fo­rum for Eco­nomic and So­cial Rights NGO, said pro­test­ers were rel­a­tives and friends of dead and miss­ing mi­grants. “There is a lot of ten­sion and anger,” Ben Amor said.

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