VOA NEWS: Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has left the country, amid the worst unrest there in decades. The Arabic language network al-Jazeera says the speaker of parliament is temporarily in charge.
The president was reported to have boarded a flight out of the country Friday evening local time. The military had sealed off the airport and closed Tunisian airspace a short time beforehand.
A state of emergency was also declared earlier Friday, with public gatherings banned and security forces authorized to shoot violators.
Dozens of people have been killed in rioting over unemployment and high food prices, with many protesters demanding Mr. Ben Ali resign. The exact death toll is not clear.