Stones thrown at Tunisian leaders in Sidi Bouzid
[Al Ahram] Protesters on Monday hurled rocks at Tunisia's President Moncef Marzouki and parliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar in Sidi Bouzid, cradle of the revolution that erupted exactly two years ago.
The incident began after a speech by Marzouki in the central Tunisian town, where celebrations are taking place to mark the anniversary of the revolution, and as Ben Jaafar was about to speak.
The security forces swiftly evacuated the two men to the regional government headquarters, an AFP journalist reported.
The protesters invaded the square where the head of state had been addressing the crowd, shouting "the people want the fall of the government."
The police held back, after violent clashes over the past few months, which have often followed attempts to disperse protesters angry over the Islamist-led government's failure to improve living conditions in the poor region.
Clashes and strikes, as well as attacks by hardline Islamists, have multiplied across Tunisia in the run-up to the second anniversary of the start of Tunisia's revolution.
Posted by: Fred 2012-12-18