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TUNIS: Hundreds of people marched in central Tunis on Saturday against inequality and police brutality, in defiance of a ban on demonstrations and as security forces tried to block off the city’s main central avenue.

Protesters chanted “the people want the fall of the regime” - a chant popularised during the so-call Arab Spring a decade ago - and held up banners and slogans decrying the security response to more than a week of demonstrations and nightly clashes between youths and police in cities across Tunisia.

The protests, 10 years after a popular revolt against autocratic rule introduced democracy in Tunisia, represent the biggest bout of political unrest in several years, with police detaining hundreds of people.

“We can’t accept a police state in Tunisia 10 years after the revolution... it is shameful,” said Mahmoud, a young cafe worker who did not give his family name.

While the youths clashing with riot police after dark in poor districts of Tunisian cities have voiced few clear political aims, daytime protests have focused on the lack of jobs and on the police response to demonstrations.