Nearly 50 people are reported to have been killed in shooting and rioting at two Tunisian prisons, amid continuing unrest following the removal of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
There was looting and gunfire in the capital, Tunis, after the celebrations marking his flight to Saudi Arabia. Troops are patrolling the city center and a state of emergency is in effect.
The violence came as the Speaker of parliament, Foued Mebazaa, took over as interim president.
The BBC’s Wyre Davis, in Tunis, says people are now waiting for some indication that the interim administration is prepared to bring in widespread economic and political changes.
Saturday’s deadliest incident appears to have been in the resort of Monastir where a fire swept though a prison, killing at least 42 people.
COLlive.com was told that Chabad Lubavitch of Tunisia, which ironically is located on Rue De Palestine, was closed since the violence erupted.
“The situation is very complex and we are trying to be the most careful,” R’ Binyamin Hatab, a local Chabad activist, said. “We’re trying not to leave the house in the evening and night and are listening to instructions heard in the media.”
Chabad in the African country was established in 1959 when Rabbi Nisson Pinson OBM and his wife Rochel were sent to Djerba as the Chabad Shluchim.