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    Holidaymakers flown home on emergency flights


    by ODN


    About 1,800 Britons are being flown home on emergency flights from strife-torn Tunisia, after trouble on the streets escalated and protesters defied an overnight curfew.

    Tour operators Thomson and First Choice were scheduled to charter 1,437 passengers back on seven flights across the UK throughout Saturday.

    Thomas Cook was arranging to evacuate another 300 holidaymakers on a single flight into Manchester after getting 1,500 tourists back home on Friday.

    The flights were arranged after violence swept through the North African country and ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia with his family.

    The popular tourist destination was rocked by unrest sparked by anger over unemployment and at a leadership many see as controlling and corrupt.

    On Friday Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced he was assuming power after the president fled the country.

    The president had earlier declared a state of emergency after saying he would dismiss his government and call new legislative elections within six months.

    Thousands of angry demonstrators had marched through Tunisia's capital, Tunis, to demand his resignation.

    A curfew from 6pm to 6am was imposed in the Greater Tunis area but protesters and looters have flouted it.