Tunisias president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali har flyktet fra landet, og statsministeren har overtatt styringen.
Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi went on state television to say he was assuming power amid reports the country’s president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had fled the country. The army has sealed off the airport and closed Tunisian airspaced. Earlier President Ben Ali announced a state of emergency and fired the government following the worst unrest to hit this North African country in decades.
Earlier in the day, thousands of protesters demonstrated in Tunis demanding President Ben Ali step down. The main Habib Bourguiba Boulevard was a sea of humanity, as young and old, well-off and poor, chanted for change.
One young man said the message was clear: Tunisians had lost confidence in their government. They want someone who can serve the country, serve its people. Many other protesters voiced similar sentiments.
But the demonstrations took an ugly turn in the afternoon. Riot police came out in force. People scattered. Young men lobbed objects at the police who responded with tear gas.