Tunisia Unrest Takes a Violent Turn

I don’t have too much to say in terms of original reporting or analysis of the unfolding situation in Tunisia, other than to note that this is a significant story that has not received too much play here in the United States.

The basic facts are that mass protests have erupted throughout several cities in Tunisia, and that the government’s response to these protests is becoming more and more violent.  Various sources report that at least 50 people were killed over the past few days by government forces.  Here’s the AP

More violence was reported overnight in the main central town of Kasserine where locals alleged gunmen on rooftops had shot at protesters in the worst unrest in the tightly controlled country in 23 years.

The government shut schools and universities until further notice as tensions mounted in the capital after students called for mass protests on Facebook pages that showed the Tunisian flag stained in blood.

Artists, journalists and hospital staff meanwhile protested the harsh government crackdown after Europe, the United Nations and United States called for restraint.

It would seem that most of the protesters are young, middle class college graduates frustrated by their employment prospects. But, of course, the issue runs much deeper than that.  Be sure to read Simon Tidsall in the Guardian, who puts these protests in the larger context of North African/Middle East crisis of governance.

Anyone have thoughts on this crisis that you’d like to share?  Good sources to follow the coverage?