Violent protests broke out in at least six Tunisian cities, including the capital Tunis and the coastal city of Sousse, according to several media reports.
Up to 300 young men clashed with police late on Monday in the capital's Ettadamon district, Reuters news agency reported, while residents of Kasserine, Gafsa, Sousse and Monastir described street violence in those cities.
- The social unrest comes at a time of economic crisis, worsened by the pandemic, that has sparked rapid inflation and high youth unemployment and led many people to leave Tunisia. "Protests take place in broad daylight normally. without any criminal acts involved".
Tunisia has had more than 10 governments in the decade since a wave of protests toppled President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and rippled across the region.
The interior ministry said authorities made 630 arrests linked to the violence on Sunday alone.
Months of sit-in protests paralysed production of oil and phosphate, a key resource, costing billions of dollars in lost state revenues.
However, in cities across the North African country youths have thrown stones and petrol bombs, burnt tyres and looted shops while police have deployed tear gas and batons, arresting hundreds. Police fired tear gas and water canons against protesters.
The economy shrank by nine percent previous year, consumer prices have spiralled and one third of young people are unemployed.
The pandemic has exacerbated economic woes, decimating Tunisia's tourism industry - also already crippled after a string of fatal jihadist attacks in 2015.
"This is no way to make legitimate demands heard", the spokesman, Khaled Al-Hayouni, told the radio station.
"There is denial and underestimation of anger among young people, especially because eleven successive governments (after the fall of Ben Ali) did not have a strategy to answer the central question of employment", said Olama Lamaloum, director of the NGO International Alert in Tunisia, Which works in the most marginal areas of the country.
Shortly before last week's 10th anniversary of the revolution, Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi's government ordered a four-day lockdown, a tighter night-time curfew and a ban on protests.
A decade after throwing off the shackles of autocratic rule, Tunisia was heading towards an economic crisis even before the global coronavirus pandemic struck a year ago, wrecking the tourism industry and locking down other businesses.
The mood was sombre in Ettadhamen, a restive Tunis working-class neighbourhood, on Sunday evening.
"I don't see any future here", said Abdelmoneim, a waiter in Tunis. Abdelmoneim said he would take a boat across the Mediterranean to Europe "as soon as possible, and never come back to this miserable place".