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Lawlessness on Tunisian streets

Rioters burned the Tunisian capital’s main train station to the ground and sacked and looted shops in a wave of unrest after the North African nation’s president was forced from power by protesters.

world Updated: Jan 16, 2011 00:04 IST

Rioters burned the Tunisian capital’s main train station to the ground and sacked and looted shops in a wave of unrest after the North African nation’s president was forced from power by protesters.

The departure of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years of iron-fisted rule, appeared not to be enough to quell the unrest over soaring unemployment and corruption that has swept Tunisia recently.

At least 42 inmates were killed in two prison fires on Saturday and gunfire echoed through the capital.

Overnight, public television station TV7 broadcast phone calls from residents of working-class neighborhoods on the capital’s outskirts, recounting attacks by knife-wielding assailants.

Meanwhile the palace of Saudi King Abdullah confirmed early Saturday that the ousted president and his family had landed in Saudi Arabia.