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Tunisia LiveBlog: Watching Inside and Outside the Country

2205 GMT: Confusion tonight over reports that "foreign mercenaries" were captured by the Army after gun battles today (see 2035 GMT), with claims that they were Swedish tourists in Tunis, on a hunting trip for wild boar, who were beaten by a mob.

2120 GMT: The full State Department text of Hillary Clinton's discussion with the Tunisian Foreign Minister today (see 1800 GMT):

Secretary Clinton called Tunisian Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane today to express support for the people of Tunisia as they and their government go through a period of significant transition. She urged that the Government work to re-establish order in the country in a responsible manner as quickly as possible. She also underscored the importance of addressing popular concerns about the lack of civil liberties and economic opportunities, and the need to move forward with credible democratic elections.

She noted that the United States is encouraged by recent remarks by Prime Minister Ghannouchi and Interim President Mabazza indicating a willingness to work with Tunisians across the political spectrum and within civil society to build a truly representative government. Lastly, the Secretary offered the assistance of the United States in helping Tunisians to meet these challenges, and assured the Foreign Minister that the United States will stand with Tunisia as it moves forward to address them.

2050 GMT: Around 1,500 protesters held a peaceful rally in the central Tunisian town of Regueb, condemning political talks because the new government would not be truly democratic. A local trade union leader said, "We didn't rise up for the formation of a unity government with a fake opposition."

The army broke up the rally as protests are banned under the State of Emergency declared on Friday.

2045 GMT: Mourad Trabelsi, the brother-in-law of the deposed President Ben Ali, has been arrested.

2035 GMT: Video is circulating of men, captured by the Army, who are claimed to be "mercenaries" for the former Ben Ali regime. The detained men were carrying German and Swedish passports.

Earlier in the day, the Progressive Democratic Party said gunfire outside its headquarters had involved armed "foreigners".

2030 GMT: Activists in the al-Nahda Party, banned by the Ben Ali regime, are calling for the release of one of their leaders, Ahmed Amari.

The activists say Amari was seized on Tuesday on the border with Libya by a contingent of the Presidential Guard.

2025 GMT: Al Jazeera is now carrying the news that the Tunisian Army has exchanged fire with former Presidential Guards as the latter tried storm into Carthage International Airport.

Reports have circulated throughout the day that Army and the former guards for President Ben Ali also clashed at the Presidential Palace in Carthage.

2000 GMT: Reports tonight that a Cabinet will be named tomorrow. According to Renewal Party leader Mahmoud ben Romdhane, former opponents of the regime and the interim government have agreed that no major figure from the former ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), will be included in the Cabinet overseeing affairs until elections are held in 60 days.

Other reports say representatives from the Democratic Forum for Labor and Freedom and from the Progressive Democratic Party will be in the Cabinet.

1840 GMT: A French diplomat in Tunis corrects earlier information that French photojournalist Lucas Mebrouk Dolega, wounded on Friday by a tear gas canister, had died (see 1130 and 1415 GMT). The source says that Dolega is in "critical but stable" condition.

1815 GMT: Al Jazeera's James Bays reports from Tunis of shootings in the city and people arming themselves against the police, whom they do not trust: "In between the road blocks, we were coming across large groups of people who had their own home-made weapons, axes and steel bars, and some of them were not particularly friendly to us when we wanted to film in the area."

1810 GMT: Lawyers in Benghazi in Libya have announced they will protest at noon tomorrow over the situation surrounding the "chaos" and "looting" this weekend at a residential complex in the city.

1800 GMT: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called Tunisian Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane. A State Department official says Clinton stressed the importance of addressing concerns about lack of civil liberties and economic opportunities and "underscored to Morjane the need to move forward with credible democratic elections".

1750 GMT: In Algeria, prominent union activist Ahmed Badawi, was arrested in Algiers on Saturday after leaving a meeting with several trade union officials and civil society activists.

1745 GMT: A prominent activist reports from a "scared" contact in Libya that "the regime is on full alert" and "tensions r high".

The contact says Benghazi is the epicenter of protest, with shops burned, and there have been few incidents in Tripoli.

1740 GMT: Ben Wedeman of CNN reports from his Tunis hotel: "Police going from room to room shutting windows, looking for cameramen who shot [foootage of] gun battle and helicopters from hotel windows."

Wedeman says the centre of the city, under curfew, is now quiet.

1625 GMT: Ayman Mohyeldin of Al Jazeera posts a Twitter message: "Just survived harrowing ordeal to make it to hotel amidst gunfire and unidentified armed men in heart of Tunis. Thank You God!"

He adds, "heart of Tunis completely empty hour before curfew except for military and civilian gangs trying to protect areas and armed men."

1600 GMT: Ben Wedeman reports from Tunis that a gun battle is continuing after 90 minutes. A patrolling helicopter is still overhead. Curfew has just started.

1530 GMT: AFP reports that more than 3,000 Jordanian trade unionists, Islamists, and leftists held a sit-in on Sunday outside Parliament to protest the Government's economic policies. Banners asked, "For how long should we pay the price of corruption and theft?" while chants included, "Enough of lies, we lost our future", "Jordan's blood has been sucked", "Poverty, starvation and unemployment, we've had enough", and "Jordanians are on fire... the soaring prices are killing us".

1514 GMT: Dernières nouvelles d'Algérie is now reporting five attempts at suicide by Algerian men setting themselves on fire in the last five days. At least one has died (see 1445 GMT).

1505 GMT: Tension has risen in Tunis. There are reports of shooting outside the headquarters of an opposition party --- initial claims were that it was from police clashing with a gang.

1455 GMT: Egypt's Ahram Online reports on protests in "several cities" in Libya over the late completion of government subsided-housing.

The website says that hundreds of people occupied about 800 vacant units last night in Bani Walid city, 180 kilometres (110 miles) southeast of Tripoli. The National Front for Salvation of Libya, an opposition movement established in 1981, said, “Bani Walid has no basic services; thousands of people are without houses and the local authority is corrupted, it only delivers services with bribes. Nothing will make Bani Walid calm but freedom, justice and transparency.”

The site also notes the news --- carried on EA earlier --- that more than 600 units in Benghazi. It refers to information and videos on social media of protests in Bedia (see separate video entry), Darna, and Sabhaa.

The Government's Revolutionary Committee said the protests were “demagogy” that undermine legitimate authority: “We have formed a committee to investigate every complaint, all the problems will be solved soon through the legitimate authorities."

1445 GMT: Mohsen Bouterfif, who set himself on fire at a government building in Algeria, has died.

Bouterfif committed the immolation after the mayor of the small city of Boukhadra was unable to give him a job and a house. His case echoes that of Mohammed Bouazizi, whose attempted suicide --- he later died of his burns --- sparked Tunisian protests.

1415 GMT: Le Telegramme have posted the last photographs taken by Lucas Mabrouk Dolega, the French photojournalist who died today after he was struck by a tear gas canister on Friday.

1410 GMT: BBC correspondent Wyre Davies files a video report from Tunis, highlighting relatively empty streets and a modicum of stability.

1320 GMT: State media confirm the arrest of former head of security Ali Seryati (see 0745 GMT) and several associates on charges of plotting against state security.

1315 GMT: Scenes in and near Tunis....

One correspondent reports that on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, dozens of brand new cars ---- imported by the group around ex-President Ben Ali --- have been torched.

Another sees jubilant Tunisian men hacking with a mallet at a sign "7 Nov 1987", the date of Ben Ali's accession to power.

1250 GMT: Al Jazeera reports that Minister on Interior, Rafiq Belhaj Kacem, has been arrested in Beja in northern Tunisia.

Kacem was replaced by former President Ben Ali last week in one of the last moves trying to save the Government before it fell on Friday.

1150 GMT: Ben Wedeman of CNN reports via Twitter:

At Monoprix in Cartage [Carthago, east of Tunis]. Looters interrupted by soldiers who fire in air. Then let looting continue.

Middle aged doctors dentists engineers protesting neighbourhoods in cartage with baseball bats

1130 GMT: A French photojournalist, Lucas Mebrouk Dolega, who was wounded by a tear gas canister on Friday, has died.

1120 GMT: Ahmed al-Khadrawi, an officer in the Tunisian National Guards, said that the military's Chief of Staff, General Rachid Ammar, who was removed by President Ben Ali on Wednesday, received last-minute instructions from the US Embassy to take charge of Tunisian affairs if the situation was out of control.

Al-Khadrawi told Al-Jazeera on Saturday that he has documents backing up his statement. Asked why Ammar has not taken control and declared military rule, al-Khadrawi said that the sudden popular uprising had shocked both the political and military institutions.

1050 GMT: The BBC's headline coverage this morning of Tunisia, including an interview with the daughter of opposition leader Rached Ghanoucchi (see 0915 GMT), has now been put on-line. The item starts just after the 6:00 mark.

0950 GMT: Reports indicate that Imed Trabelsi, the nephew of the wife of ex-President Ben Ali, died from a knife wound on Friday. It is still unclear whether the stabbing was connected to the ransacking of the Trabelsi family's residences on Friday afternoon.

Jeune Afrique offers more information on Trabelsi.

0945 GMT: A striking image, but even more striking that it appears on the website of Egypt's leading newspaper Al Ahram:

0940 GMT: Reports from Tunis are that the city is relatively quiet, with a significant Army presence in the centre. The state of emergency is still in effect.

0915 GMT: The BBC's flagship radio programme, which led with Tunisia this morning, has interviewed the daughter of Rached Ghanoucchi, head of the opposition Ennadha movement. After reviewing the current situation --- including concern that the "old guard" has merely made surface changes to hold on to power --- Ghanoucchi's daughter said her father, who went into exile in 1989, is hoping to return to Tunisia soon. She added that he had been in consultation with other opposition leaders on Saturday about the timing of next moves.

0850 GMT: Al Jazeera reviews the current political situation and offers a concise summary, "With leadership changing at dizzying speed what is certain is the constitution favours those belonging to ousted regime."

0840 GMT: Yesterday we posted the photo of President Ben Ali's name being taken down from Tunisia's new airport in Enfidha. This morning we get the photograph which claims that the airport has been renamed to honour Mohammaed Bouazizi, whose attempted suicide on 17 December sparked the protests that brought down Ben Ali:

The official website for the airport has not changed the name, so we wait to see if this is the outcome of political change or of Photoshop.

0805 GMT: Al Jazeera has now posted an article on the storming of residential units by "thousands" of Libyans protesting poor housing. The protesters took over new apartments in a Benghazi project.

The article claims that troops and police withdrew from the area, allowing the protest to take place.

0745 GMT: Many in the international media are now captivated by the possibility that protest will escalate in other parts of the Arab world. Thousands have demonstrated in Jordan (more on that later on EA), there have been rallies in Egypt, and there is even video of a street protest in Libya. (Less than an hour after footage appeared, it was reported that the Libyan Government has blocked YouTube.)

In Algeria, a 27-year-old man tried to commit suicide by immolation after he was unable to get employment. (Earlier El Watan had said there were two cases.) A similar incident set off the protests in Tunisia: on 17 December, Mohammed Bouazizi, set himself on fire. He later died from his wounds, just before the collapse of the Ben Ali Government that he helped start.

The Los Angeles Times interviews activists and analysts in the region to query, "Will Revolt in Tunisia Inspire Others?"

But of course there may still be events in Tunisia to note. This morning Al Jazeera is reporting that General Ali Seryati, a top adviser on security matter for ex-President Ben Ali,  and Salim Shayboub, Ben Ali's son-in-law, have been arrested. 

Meanwhile, a flashback to Thursday. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation notes that Sakher El Materi, the billionaire son-in-law of Ben Ali, was still declaring --- in a video on his Facebook page --- "I want to answer those who said that I fled: we don't want to leave. We have no reason to flee our vast and beautiful country."

Still, the footage is dominated by uncertainty. At one point in the five-minute clip, El Materi told someone off-screen: "Look, I'm right in front of you. That's proof that I'm in Tunisia."

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