As Unrest Continues, Tunisia Plans Unity Government

Army, presidential guard in gun battle
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 17, 2011 8:55 AM CST
Soldiers take position behind trees as gunfire echoes in the center of Tunis, Sunday, Jan. 16. 2011.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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(Newser) – Tunisian leaders plan to announce a new unity government today following the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the Daily Telegraph reports. It will include ministers from the former leadership and opposition as well as independents, said an opposition leader. Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi will remain, with presidential and parliamentary elections due in 2 months. The AP notes that the inclusion of former regime opponents marks an "unprecedented transition of power in the Arab world."

The army last night battled with members of Ben Ali’s presidential guard near the presidential palace; two were killed, eight wounded, and two arrested, officials said. Meanwhile in Egypt, a man set fire to himself outside parliament, echoing a similar incident in Tunisia that preceded the riots leading to Ben Ali’s ousting.

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