Tunisians defy ban to protest against president

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Tunisian police used tear gas and water cannon on Friday to disperse hundreds of demonstrators protesting against President Kais Saied’s takeover of the country in July. The demonstrators had gathered despite restrictions on gatherings imposed on Thursday due to a spate of coronavirus cases in the country. More than 1,000 protesters gathered on Mohamed V Avenue, but were prevented from reaching the iconic Habib Bourguiba Avenue, the epicentre of the massive protests that toppled Ben Ali 11 years ago. Some protesters broke through a police cordon before police pushed them back with batons, tear gas and water cannons. Some demonstrators chanted “Down with the coup”, referring to Saied’s moves on 25 July, in which he dismissed the government, froze parliament and seized a range of powers.

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