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Tuesday, June 16, 1998 Published at 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK

World: Middle East

Tunisia protests at 'disgraceful British'

The beach where Tunisian and England fans clashed

Tunisia protested on Monday night at what it called the disgraceful behaviour of British football supporters in Marseille, and the French authorities' failure to ensure protection for the Tunisian nationals.

A foreign ministry statement reported by Tunisian radio early on Tuesday morning spoke of "acts of violence and destruction committed by groups of British football hooligans in Marseille over the last two days, whose victims included Tunisian nationals".

"Tunisia expresses its profound indignation at these unacceptable acts and behaviour which are incompatible with sportsmanship and civilised values," the foreign ministry said.

"Tunisia deeply regrets the failure of the authorities in Marseille to ensure the due protection of the peaceful Tunisian nationals in the circumstances."

The foreign ministry noted that French and British officials had condemned the behaviour.

"Tunisia hopes all the parties concerned, especially the international sports bodies, will endeavour to prevent a recurrence of these disgraceful incidents," the foreign ministry statement said.

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