TUNIS: Tunisian protesters demanding jobs have closed down a second oil pumping station in the south in defiance of government attempts to protect oil and gasfields with troops and negotiate an end to unrest, two local radios reported on Sunday.
Protesters peacefully shut a pumping station at Faouar in southern Kebili province, where French oil company Perenco operates, according to one local witness and Mosaique FM and Shems FM radio stations.
"We shut down the pumping station for Perenco, where we are carrying out our sit-in protest. We had no problem with the army. We are just demanding jobs," said Faker Ajmi, one of the protesters told Reuters by telephone.
The energy ministry did not reply to a request for comment. A spokesman for Perenco also did not immediately reply to an email asking about the status of their operations. Officials said earlier this month Perenco's production halted at Baguel and Tarfa fields, which are for gas and condensate output.