Angry Tunisian protesters torched a police station on Tuesday, angered by an authority’s decision to reopen a controlled landfill in the southern city of Agreb, witnesses said.
According to his family and eyewitnesses, the protests escalated a day after a man died of suffocation from gas fired by the police. The home ministry said the man was not involved in the protests and died at his home six kilometers away.
Violent clashes broke out on the streets of the city as police fired tear gas to disperse protesters trying to block roads and throw stones at them.
The incident is the first serious test facing the government of Najla Bouden, appointed last month by President Kais Said, to respond to protests against poor public services and fragile social and environmental conditions.
The Agereb landfill, 20km from Asfax, was closed this year after residents complained of an outbreak of diseases described as an environmental disaster.
The closure caused thousands of tons of household waste to pile up in the streets, markets and hospitals of Tunisia’s second largest city, Sfax, for nearly a month, prompting thousands of people to protest.
Saeed has faced mounting criticism since assuming executive authority in July, with critics stripping most of the constitution for seizing nearly total power in what he described as a coup.