BEN GUERDANE, Tunisia (AFP) - Tunisian soldiers were deployed on Sunday in a town near the border with Libya after a week of clashes between police and residents protesting over social inequalities, an AFP reporter said. Units from the army and national guard were sent a day before Monday's second anniversary of the Tunisian revolt that began the Arab Spring, sparked by unemployment and tough living conditions. Ben Guerdane, around 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the border, has witnessed sporadic unrest since last Sunday, fuelled by Tripoli's decision to close the Ras Jdir border crossing in early September for security reasons. There was no sign of police on the streets of Ben Guerdane on Sunday, and no reports of clashes a day after youths set fire to the local police station for the second time in three days.

On Saturday, protesters also hurled abuse at the ruling Islamist Ennahda party, whose local headquarters were ransacked during the week. A customs office was also torched.

The protesters, who are demanding a series of development projects to revive the area's local economy and reduce unemployment, asked on Saturday that soldiers be sent in to keep the peace in the town.