Tunisia has imposed a nationwide overnight curfew in response to growing unrest over unemployment as protests across the country descended into vandalism in several cities.

The curfew from 8pm to 5am begins on Friday because the attacks on public and private property “represent a danger to the country and its citizens,” the interior ministry said.

On Thursday night, police stations came under attack and security officers used teargas to repel protesters armed with stones and molotov cocktails.

In housing projects on the outskirts of the capital, Tunis, roving groups of young people attacked a bank and looted stores and warehouses.

Tunisia’s prime minister, Habib Essid, is cutting short a visit to France to deal with the protests, which began on Sunday after a young man who lost out on a government job climbed a transmission tower in protest and was electrocuted.

Tunisia’s unemployment stands at about 15%, but among young people the rate is 30%.

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