Unrest in Tunisia since the fall of Ben Ali: Timeline

AFP , Thursday 23 Oct 2014

Ben Ali
Former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (Photo: Reuters)

A timeline of unrest in Tunisia since the fall of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali:


-- 2011 --

- January 14: Under massive popular pressure over unemployment and inflation, Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia with his family after 23 years in power, becoming the first Arab leader to step down in what becomes known as the "Arab Spring".


- February 25: 100,000 people stage anti-government demonstration in Tunis. Clashes as police stations are torched and ransacked.


- October 27-28: Violence erupts in the central town of Sidi Bouzid after results of Tunisia's first free election are announced, in which newly-legalised Islamist movement Ennahda wins 89 of the 217 seats in a new constituent assembly.


-- 2012 --

- June 11-12: Unrest triggered by an art exhibition of work deemed offensive to Islam. The government blames hardline Salafists and old regime loyalists.


- September 14: Four people killed in clashes at the US embassy amid protests over an anti-Islam film.


- October 5: Police fire rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters in Sidi Bouzid.

Demonstrations, sometimes repressed, have multiplied in recent weeks, amid rising discontent over poor living conditions and delayed salary payments.


- November 27-December 1: 300 injured in clashes between police and protesters in Siliana, southwest of Tunis.


-- 2013 --

- February 6: Prominent opposition leader Chokri Belaid shot dead, triggering deadly protests and a political crisis that brings down Islamist prime minister Hamadi Jebali.


- July 25: Opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi shot dead, also by suspected jihadists.


- July 29: Eight soldiers are killed in the Mount Chaambi area near Algeria where Tunisian forces have been hunting since December 2012 an Al-Qaeda-linked group. On August 2 the army announces a huge operation against Islamist militants in the area.


- August 27: The government accuses Tunisia's main Salafist movement Ansar Al-Sharia of links to Al-Qaeda and of being behind the killings of Belaid and Brahmi.


- October 23: Six Tunisian police are killed in clashes with gunmen in the Sidi Bouzid region, when members of the National Guard raided a house where the militants were holed up.


-- 2014 --

- January 9: Demonstrators clash with security forces in the central town of Kasserine, amid rising social discontent.


- February 4: The government announces the suspected Islamist assassin of Belaid has been killed in a police raid. Five days later, a suspect in Brahmi's murder is arrested.


- June 13: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb says it was responsible for an attack on the interior minister's home that killed four policemen, the first such claim in the country.


- July 16: Suspected jihadists kill 15 soldiers in the Mount Chaambi region, in the deadliest such attack in the army's history. Dozens of soldiers and police have been killed in attacks since 2011.


- October 20: The interior minister says "attacks, blasts aimed at factories and operations targeting ambassadors have been foiled".


- October 23: A policeman is killed in a firefight near Tunis with "terrorists" holed up in a house with women and children, ahead of the first parliamentary election since the 2011 revolution.

Short link: