PM assumes power amid Tunisia riots

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A protester faces police officers as he chants slogans against President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunis, Tunisia (AP)

Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has gone on state television to say he is assuming power in Tunisia.

The announcement on Friday came after thousands of protesters mobbed the capital of Tunis to demand the removal of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

In response to widespread riots, the president declared a state of emergency in the North African nation, dissolved the government and promised new legislative elections within six months.

Ben Ali’s exact whereabouts were not exactly clear.

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