Tunisia's police and demonstrators clash in third-night protest

Clashes erupted on Monday between protesters and Tunisian police who fired tear gas in the southern town of Jelma, the third consecutive night of protest against poverty and lack of opportunity, witnesses said.

Protests began on Saturday, a day after Abdelwaheb Hablani, 25, set himself on fire and died in hospital in protest at poverty and poor living conditions, echoing the 2010 self immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi, whose death triggered the Arab Spring.

Hablani had occasional work as a casual laborer in Jelma, located near Bouazizi's home city of Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia's deeply impoverished interior. He was buried on Saturday.

It's said that security forces fired tear gas and were chasing youths protesting in the streets of Jelma.

Protesters blocked roads and burned tires.

"The situation is difficult here. Police are flexing their muscles and they fired tear gas everywhere," said Bilel Harzali, a local resident.

"The scene brings to mind the days of the revolution. People are angry because the lack of development and the strong security response," he added.

Mass protests that followed Bouazizi's funeral in December 2010 toppled the veteran autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who died in exile in Saudi Arabia in September.

Since Bouazizi's death in December 2010, numerous young men have followed his example by setting themselves alight in the face of Tunisia's chronic economic difficulties.

(With input from Reuters)