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Strike paralyses Tunisian town that sparked revolt

Wednesday, August 15, 2012    

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A general strike has paralysed the central Tunisian town where the Arab Spring began, with residents demanding the young government resign for failing to alleviate poverty they say has worsened since the country's longtime dictator was ousted.

Almost all public offices and shops were closed yesterday in Sidi Bouzid, the Tunisian town where a fruit seller's self-immolation triggered the popular uprisings in Tunisia and other parts of the Arab world. About 3,000 people also marched through town starting at the headquarters of the UGTT union, which organized the strike.

The Tunisian uprising forced out dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. Elections afterward brought to power Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party. But Sidi Bouzid residents say their economic situation has deteriorated under Ennahda.

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