Prison fire amid Tunisian unrest kills 42

A coroner says 42 people have died in a fire at a prison in a Tunisian coastal resort town as unrest sweeps the North African country after its longtime president was forced out by protests.

Tarek Mghirbi, a coroner in the resort city of Monastir, says 42 bodies were brought to his office. He says all the victims appeared to have either burned to death or to have suffered smoke inhalation. He says the cause of Saturday’s prison fire is unclear.

Massive street protests over corruption and unemployment forced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country Friday night after 23 years of iron-fisted rule. In the last 24 hours, unrest, looting and arson have erupted.