At Least 35 Killed in Tunisia Riots

At least 35 people have been killed in the riots that erupted over the weekend in Tunisia, the president of the International Federation for Human Rights said Tuesday.

"We have a list of the names of the 35," Souhayr Belhassen told Agence France Presse. "The total figure is higher. It's somewhere around 50, but that's an estimate."

The Paris-based FIDH is a global federation of 164 human rights groups and is following events in Tunisia closely through a network of local monitors.

Political protests broke out in Tunisia last month after a 26-year-old graduate set himself on fire in protest after police seized the farm produce he was trying to sell to make a living.

More fierce riots erupted at the weekend, triggering a tough crackdown by Tunisian authorities, amid calls from the United States and the European Union for President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime to show restraint.

Belhassen -- who is herself Tunisian -- said the death toll had "increased tragically" since weekend protests in the Regueb, Thala et Kasserine areas, and that so many had been wounded that "they can't be counted."

Before these riots, the death toll was estimated at four, including two suicides, and the security forces stand accused of using excessive force.

Another international watchdog, Amnesty International, has estimated that 23 people were "killed by security forces" during the protests against the regime on Saturday and Sunday.

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