Tunisia protests against Ben Ali left 200 dead, says UN

Protester throws stones at riot policeman (28/01)
Image caption A month of protests forced Tunisia's long-time leader from power

At least 219 people died during the protests that toppled Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last month, a UN team has said.

Team leader Bacre Waly Ndiaye said this figure included 72 people who died during prison riots.

The government previously said that 78 people had died, although the opposition said the figure was higher.

Mr Ndiaye was speaking at the end of a week-long human rights team investigation into the unrest.

He added that the figure was not final and the UN would continue its investigations.

Earlier reports that a synagogue had been set on fire in the southern city of Ghabes had proved to be false, Agence France-Presse news agency said.

Amid the anti-government demonstrations which began in December, there have been occasional outbreaks of looting and violence

After President Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia in January, a unity government was sworn in but some protests continue, by demonstrators who want anyone linked to the former regime to leave power.

Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has promised elections within six months.

The toppling of Mr Ben Ali after 23 years in power helped inspire the current anti-government protests in Egypt.

On Monday, the European Union announced it had frozen the assets of the former leader and his wife.

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