Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Tunisian cities on saturday to protest police repressuon, corruption and poverty following several nights of unrest marked by clashes and arrests.

The protests comes at a time when the world is facing the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled the economy and threatened to overwhelm hospitals.

The Tunisian government on Saturday extended a night-time curfew from 8pm and to 5 am and banned gatherings until February 14.

However, protesters took to the streets in several parts of the country, including the capital Tunis and the marginalised interior region of Gafsa, to demand the release of hundreds of young people detained during several nights of unrest since January 14.

The police have said more than 700 people were arrested over several nights of unrest earlier this week that saw young people hurl rocks and petrol bombs at security forces who responded with tear gas and water cannon.