France concerned at 'disproportionate' Tunisia violence

13th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon expressed serious concern Thursday at the "disproportionate use of violence" in Tunisia, after deadly clashes between security forces and protesters.

"We are extremely concerned by the violence that has developed in recent days. We urgently call on all parties to show restraint, to choose the path of dialogue," Fillon told journalists on a visit to London.

"We cannot continue with this disproportionate use of violence," he added, in the strongest reaction so far from Tunisia's former colonial power.

The death toll from weeks of unrest mounted to 66 on Thursday after eight protesters were killed in overnight clashes with security forces around the capital Tunis.

The violence flared after weeks of protests that initially focussed on high unemployment, sparked by the suicide of a young graduate who set himself alight on December 17.

© 2011 AFP

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