Tunisia Uprising Drives Iron-FIsted Ruler From Power

TUNIS, Tunisia — After 23 years of iron-fisted rule, the president of Tunisia was driven from power Friday by violent protests over soaring unemployment and corruption. Virtually unprecedented in modern Arab history, the populist upris…

TUNIS, Tunisia — After 23 years of iron-fisted rule, the president of Tunisia was driven from power Friday by violent protests over soaring unemployment and corruption. Virtually unprecedented in modern Arab history, the populist uprising sent an ominous message to authoritarian governments that dominate the region.

The office of Saudi King Abdullah confirmed early Saturday that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family had landed in Saudi Arabia, after several hours of mystery over his whereabouts. “As a result of the Saudi kingdom’s respect for the exceptional circumstances the Tunisian people are going through, and with its wish for peace and security to return to the people of Tunisia, we have welcomed” him, the statement said.

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