Once-feared po­lice stage their own rally

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

Tu­nisian po­lice of­fi­cers mounted a protest of their own Satur­day, de­mand­ing bet­ter salaries and in­sist­ing they are not to blame for shoot­ing deaths among demon­stra­tors who last week forced Pres­i­dent Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the coun­try he had ruled for 23 years.

At least 2,000 po­lice ral­lied in down­town Tu­nis, an epi­cen­ter of re­cent protests and clashes be­tween youths and po­lice.

Tu­nisia’s po­lice were widely feared un­der Ben Ali. They held their rally near the hulk­ing In­te­rior Min­istry, a sym­bol of the dread his govern­ment in­spired for­many Tu­nisians. But the de­mands they pressed were sim­i­lar to oth­ers in re­cent days — in­clud­ing calls for the cre­ation of a la­bor union, bet­ter pay and the oust­ing from govern­ment of any­one who be­longed to Ben Ali’s party.

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