A cartridge found by residents of Guellala following the clashes.
Guellala, a small town in the south of the Tunisian island of Djerba, was the scene of violent clashes between police and locals on Saturday. Residents had organised a sit-in to call for the closure of a rubbish dump that has been polluting their area. Since then, the authorities have strongly condemned the violence of the protesters, without mentioning that police fired live bullets.
Opened in May 2007, the Guellala rubbish dump was designed to serve the town of 13,000 inhabitants for 15 years. It has provoked the anger of residents ever since the dykes of this open-air dump began slowly breaking down, thus polluting the land around it.
To prevent the spread of disease and limit the damage to the environment, local residents rallied to demand the site be closed immediately, a closure the government does not plan on carrying out before then end of 2013.
According to the Tunisian interior ministry, the confrontation between police and protesters resulted in injuries to 49 police officers and two demonstrators. “This shows who was responsible for the violence: the protesters and not the police,” the ministry’s spokesperson said, stressing that no arrests were made.
This video, published on You tube, shows clashes between protesters and police in Guellala on Saturday.