After a month-long protests calling to end his 23 years of autocratic rule in this north African nation, Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali stepped down from office, and unconfirmed reports said he landed in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, Boston.com quoting the New York Times on Saturday.
The attached YouTube video shows thousands of Tunisians gathering to the streets in the capital Tunis in the Interior Ministry demanding democratic elections.
Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi assumed power while Ben Ali is "temporarily" unable to serve.
The prime minister's move to take over the house violated the Tunisian Constitution that mandates succession by the Parliament's head, the report said.
This the first time that an Arab head of state was unseated through widespread street rallies.
The success of demonstrations was brought about in large part by informal online social networks raising the possibility whether a new opposition movement has spawned that could confront any government.
By late Friday, Facebook pages in the country that previously shouted "Ben Ali, Out," now displayed "Ghannouchi Out."
Curfew was enforced where no groups of more than two should be seen on the streets after 17:00 and nobody allowed after 20:00. Curfew violators were warned that police were ordered to shoot, state media said. The airport was closed, and the military and tanks were dispatched.
Pres. Obama--a known friend of Ben Ali against terrorism--said that he applauded "the courage and dignity of the Tunisian people."
"The United States stands with the entire international community in bearing witness to this brave and determined struggle for the universal rights," he added.
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