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Tunisians protest on anniversary of revolution

People attend a concert during celebrations on the second anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution at Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis January 14, 2013. Thousands of Tunisians protested against the Islamist-led government on Monday, exactly two years after the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in a popular revolt that inspired others across the Arab world. In the same street, about 2,000 supporters of the Islamic-led government gathered to celebrate the second anniversary of the revolution but there were no clashes between the two sides.

ANIS MILI/REUTERS

Thousands of Tunisians protested against their Islamist-led government on Monday, exactly two years after the overthrow of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in a popular revolt that inspired others across the Arab world.

More than 8,000 secular demonstrators gathered outside the Interior Ministry in Tunis's Bourguiba Avenue, the same spot where mass protests forced Mr. Ben Ali to flee the country on Jan. 14, 2011.

Protesters filled the central boulevard, carrying banners that read, "No fear, no horror, power belongs to the people" and "No to emerging dictatorship … No to religious dictatorship."

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The moderate Islamist Ennahda Movement won elections in October, 2011, but has struggled to restore security and stability.

"Ennahda out, down with the [Muslim] Brotherhood Party," chanted the demonstrators, waving red and white Tunisian flags. "Where is the constitution? Where is democracy?"

Tunisians rose up against Mr. Ben Ali after street peddler Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in despair at the confiscation of his fruit cart in the town of Sidi Bouzid.

Popular unrest then convulsed much of the Arab world, ousting or challenging entrenched rulers in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, which is still mired in a civil war that the United Nations says has cost more than 60,000 lives.

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