Unrest in Tunisia since the popular revolt

Tunisia on Wednesday saw its first deadly attack on foreigners since the 2010-2011 uprising that toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power.

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 19, 2015, 02:58 AM IST

Tunis: Tunisia on Wednesday saw its first deadly attack on foreigners since the 2010-2011 uprising that toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power.

But the country that gave birth to the Arab Spring has seen a sharp rise in Islamist militancy which has left dead about 60 police and military personnel.

A timeline of unrest:

-- 2010 --

- December 17: A young university graduate who has only been able to find work as a fruit seller burns himself to death to protest police harassment and unemployment in the central town of Sidi Bouzid, unleashing rioting which spreads across the country. Some 338 are killed.

-- 2011 --

- January 14: Under massive popular pressure Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia.

- February 25: Police stations are attacked as anti-government demonstrations force Ben Ali`s last prime minister, Mohamed Ghannouchi, to resign. He is replaced by veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi.

- October 27-28: Violence erupts in Sidi Bouzid after results of Tunisia`s first free election are announced, in which the Islamist Ennahda party wins most seats in a constituent assembly.

-- 2012 --

- June 11-12: Unrest triggered by an art exhibition of work deemed offensive to Islam. The government blames hardline Salafists and old regime loyalists.

- September 14: Four attackers killed in clashes at the US embassy amid protests over an anti-Islam film.

- November 27-December 1: 300 hurt in clashes between police and protesters in Siliana, southwest of Tunis.

-- 2013 --

- February 6: Prominent opposition leader Chokri Belaid shot dead, triggering deadly protests and a political crisis that brings down Islamist prime minister Hamadi Jebali. On July 25 opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi is shot dead. In December 2014 jihadists claim both killings.

- July 29: Eight soldiers are killed in the Mount Chaambi area near Algeria where Tunisian forces have been hunting an Al-Qaeda-linked group since December. On August 2, the army announces a major operation against Islamist militants in the area.

- October 30: A suicide bomber blows himself up on a beach in the resort town of Sousse, leaving no victims, while security forces foil another planned attack nearby.

-- 2014 --

- February 4: The suspected Islamist assassin of Belaid is killed in a police raid, one of seven heavily armed terrorists slain in an operation launched at a house in a Tunis suburb.

- June 13: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb says it was responsible for an attack on the interior minister`s home that killed four policemen, the first such claim in the country.

- July 16: Suspected jihadists kill 15 soldiers in the Mount Chaambi region, in the deadliest such attack in the army`s history.

- October 24: Police kill six suspected militants, five of them women, in a raid on a suburban house after a 28-hour standoff, fanning tensions ahead of parliamentary polls.

- December 21: Essebsi wins Tunisia`s first free presidential election.

-- 2015 --

- March 18: Twenty foreign tourists are among 22 people killed as gunmen attack a Tunis museum, according to the interior ministry.