Clashes and anger after the death of tunisian migrants in an accident at sea

A boat of migrants in the tunisian port of Ben Gardane — FETHI NASRI / AFP

The death of a young tunisian in a collision between a boat carrying migrants and a military vessel has provoked the wrath of many of their fellow citizens. Several of them have set fire Thursday to the headquarters of an administration, have shown a responsible and an NGO.

The collision caused at least eight deaths on Sunday evening, and NGOS fear that the number of missing rises to forty people.

The head of the government, Youssef Chahed has called the drama ” a national disaster “, in an interview with the private channel Attessia TV broadcast Thursday night.

The motivations of the protesters are unknown

Earlier in the day, ” a quarantine of citizens have set fire to the headquarters of the delegation (representation of the State) to Souk Lahad, as well as the home of the delegate and they have tried to put the fire to the commissioner’s office “, said to AFP Yasser Mesbah, the spokesman of the ministry of the Interior.

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The police used tear gas to disperse the protesters in this city in the centre of the country, located about 500 km from Tunis, said Yasser Mesbah, without power in the immediate future to clarify the motivations of the protesters.

According to Romdhane Ben Amor, the NGO Forum of tunisia for economic and social rights (FTDES), it was relatives and acquaintances of the three victims of the collision, which expressed their anger because of ” the attitude of the government.”

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Tension and anger

“They have three dead, several missing and not contact the side of the authorities, no toll-free number for information. There is a great tension and a lot of anger in them, ” said Romdhane Ben Amor.

The navy tunisian has recovered 38 survivors, all Tunisians, as well as eight bodies after the sinking of the boat of migrants following a collision Sunday night with a military ship tunisian offshore from the archipelago of Kerkennah, according to the ministry of Defence.

“We share the anguish and pain of the families” who have lost someone, or waiting to hear news of one of their members, ” said Youssef Chahed.

“Clear instructions” were given on Thursday during a ministerial council to ” monitor the results of the investigation and to accelerate the determination of the responsibilities. Each must assume its responsibilities, ” he said.