Mohamed Bouazizi, the jobless young man who set fire to himselfin Tunisia last month triggering a wave of anti-government demonstrations across the country, died of his injuries last night, according to a report on the nawaat website.
Bouazizi, 26, was selling fruit and vegetables in the street to support his family when police stopped him for trading without a licence. An altercation followed in which one officer reportedly slapped him and spat at him. Bouazizi then doused himself in petrol and set himself alight.
His action, on December 17, was seen as epitomising the plight of Tunisia's unemployed – especially the young – and protests, increasingly directed against the repressive regime of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, have continued ever since. A general strike has been called for today.
Meanwhile, a group known simply as Anonymous claims to have launched successful cyber attacks against various websites associated with the regime, in suppport of the uprising. The Tech Herald website says:
At this point, several Tunisian government domains have been taken down completely, or have been severely crippled by the DDoS attacks. Included in the list of targets are pm.gov.tn, rcd.tn, benali.tn, carthage.tn, bvmt.com.tn, and ministeres.tn.
In addition to being knocked offline, the Prime Minister’s domain (pm.gov.tn) was defaced with a message from Anonymous ...
Posted by Brian Whitaker, 3 Jan 2011.
NOTE: Nawaat's report of Bouazizi's death turned out to be premature – but only by one day. He died on January 4.