The office of the Tunisian president says it will extend by three months the state of emergency declared at the height of the protests that toppled former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. "The president of the republic Moncef Marzouki decided to extend the state of emergency by three months," AFP reported on Monday, citing the official TAP news agency. The three-month period will start retroactively from July 3. On June 3, the Tunisian government prolonged the state of emergency until July 3.
The "decision was taken following a proposal by security leaders and after meetings with the prime minister and the president of the Constituent National Assembly," the office of the Tunisian president said.Tunisia has been under a state of emergency since January 14, 2011, when Ben Ali fled the country to Saudi Arabia after days of street protests brought an end to his 23-year rule. Since then, stability has been gradually returning to the country, though there are still flare-ups of violence and protests. MN/HGL