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Tunisia shuts down schools as violence over unemployment grips the North African nation.
Tunisia announced it will shut down all of its high schools and universities on Tuesday following weekend riots that left at least 14 dead.
Unrest has gripped the North African nation as anger against unemployment and dismal opportunities for young people has grown. Demonstrations over the past three weeks have turned violent at times with people attacking public buildings and setting cars on fire, the AP reports. In turn, police have opened fire on rioters.
Tunisia's Interior Ministry put the number of dead after this weekend's violence at 14. However, an opposition figure has accused the police of killing 25 people.
Meanwhile, President Zine el Abidine ben Ali attempted to calm his nation and end the country's worst political violence in decades by promising to create 300,000 new jobs.
He also used the opportunity to blame the protesters for the violence, as the Los Angeles Times reports.
"The events were violent, sometimes bloody, and caused the death of civilians and wounded several members of the security forces," he said. "The events were the work of masked gangs that attacked at night government buildings and even civilians inside their homes in a terrorist act that cannot be overlooked."
The government's crackdown on the protesters has been seen as overly harsh both inside and outside the country. Critics accuse the government of using the threat of Islamists to violate basic human rights.
"On Sunday, a group of opposition parties called for an immediate cessation of the security forces practice of opening fire on civilians and demanded that police and soldiers who do so be taken to court," the Los Angeles Times reports. "The Tunisian League of Human Rights also called for the right to assemble and to demonstrate peacefully."
Tunisia's education ministry said schools will be closed under further notice. Opposition politician Ahmed Najib Chebbi said this is because all of the youth support the protesters, according to Al Jazeera.
Here is a video on the clashes: