First Published: 2017-10-13

Tunisians torch building after migrant tragedy
Around 40 Tunisians set fire to building in Souk Lahad after their relatives drowned when migrant boat collided with navy vessel.
Middle East Online

At least eight migrants drowned

TUNIS - Relatives of Tunisians who drowned after a migrant boat collided with a navy vessel at the weekend set fire to a local government building Thursday in protest, officials and an NGO said.

Interior ministry spokesman Yasser Mesbah said around 40 Tunisians torched the building in the central town of Souk Lahad and tried to set a police station on fire.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, he said.

At least eight migrants drowned on Sunday after their boat sank following a collision with a Tunisian navy vessel in the Mediterranean, while 38 others were rescued, the defence ministry has said.

NGOs say around 40 more people are still missing.

In a television interview Thursday evening, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed called the sinking of the migrant boat "a national catastrophe".

Romdhane Ben Amor, of the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights NGO, said the protesters were relatives and friends of three migrants who died and of some of the missing.

According to Ben Amor, the demonstrators set fire to the building to protest against "the attitude of the government" which they say is not being forthcoming with information about their loved ones.

"There is a lot of tension and anger," Ben Amor said.

Expressing condolences to the relatives of the migrants who perished, Chahed said the government would "follow the inquiry and speed up the determination of responsibilities" for the tragedy.

 

Qatar says Gulf crisis hindering fight against IS

Khamenei vows to 'shred' nuclear deal if US pulls out

Baghdad says mission accomplished in Kurd operation

Bahrain accuses Iran of harbouring 160 'terrorists'

Jobless Tunisians seek new migration routes to Europe

EU says Israeli settlements illegal under international law

Kurdish independence goes from dream to dust

Female commander more than just poster girl for Raqa victory

Saudi airline flies to Baghdad for first time in 27 years

Wanted Dead: France's approach to IS jihadists

Saudi Arabia to monitor interpretations of prophet's sayings

Italy busts Libyan diesel smugglers

Fate of IS fighters in Raqa uncertain

Turkish Red Crescent concerned by Idlib humanitarian ‘drama’

US firm to build solar plants in Gaza

Ghost city Raqa scanned for survivors, bombs

Qatar emir calls for talks on visit to Indonesia

Iraq calls on BP to help develop Kirkuk oil

Israeli forces raid Palestinian media offices linked to Hamas

French parliament is set to pass new anti-terror law

Israel says no to Palestine talks until Hamas disarms

IS territory down to almost 10% of 2014 ‘caliphate’

Over 3000 civilians flee Raqa under deal with jihadists

Ideology and objectives clash at Deir Ezzor

Erdogan gets Polish backing on Turkey's EU bid

Iranian guards commander killed in Syria

Fitch Ratings says threat to Qatar liquidity fading

Iran warns EU against new nuclear deal conditions

Turkey activists face trial next week under terror charges

Netanyahu presses Russian defence minister on Iran

US-backed forces announce Raqa recapture

Hollande slams Trump's hardline stance on Iran nuclear deal

Iraq takes control of two key Kirkuk oil fields

US-backed forces retake Raqa state hospital

Divided Iraq tests limited US influence

New UN envoy in Rabat to restart talks on WSahara

Iraqi forces seize Kirkuk governor's office

Iraqi forces seize airport, oil field from Kurds

Saudi Arabia sets conditions to role in Syria reconstruction

In tougher approach, US offers multimillion-dollar reward for Hezbollah operatives

EU ministers join forces in support of Iran deal

Batteries, tape to thank for defeating jihadists in Raqa

Palestinian Authority top official visits Gaza

Israel strikes Syrian anti-aircraft battery in response to shots

Qatar starts to feel pinch from sanctions