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Police arrest hundreds in Tunisia price rise demonstrations

Heavy security greets protests across many towns.

Tunisian police have arrested 328 people and fired tear gas as protesters hurled rocks and burned tyres during further nationwide demonstrations over price rises.

The protests late on Wednesday in multiple towns appeared less violent than previous nights as heavy security was deployed at key sites.

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A riot policeman drags away a demonstrator during anti-government protests in Tunis (Amine Landoulsi/AP)

Interior Ministry spokesman Khalifa Chibani said that those arrested are accused of destroying property, looting and theft.

Speaking on Mosaique radio, he said 21 officers were wounded in the latest skirmishes. He did not give estimates of the number of injured protesters.

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Riot policemen stand next to an armoured personnel carrier (Amine Landoulsi/AP)

The Tunisian government has accused political opponents of stoking the unrest and defended the unpopular price rises as essential to improving the economy.

Tunisia is marking seven years since a popular uprising overthrew the autocratic president and unleashed revolt across the Arab world.

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