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Monday, January 17, 2011

Italian circus in Tunisia placed under army protection
An Italian family circus trapped by riots in strife-torn Tunisia was put under army protection on Sunday, but its director said he feared possible looting and pleaded for the urgent evacuation of staff and animals.
6:30PM GMT 16 Jan 2011
Attilio Belluci told Italian radio by telephone that his circus, which was touring in the port city of Sfax, faced "great difficulty," is lacking food and exposed to possible looting.
He requested evacuation by sea of around one hundred artists and their families, including babies, as well as some 40 animals including horses, tigers and snakes.
The Tunisian army threw a protective ring around be the circus and delivered first aid supplies and the Italian embassy managed to bring powdered milk for the infants, Italian Ambassador Piero Benassi told Italian television.
Two other travelling circuses from Italy are in Tunisia's Zarzis and El Jem, he added. The Belluci circus had been in the country for three months before it found itself surrounded by rioters.
On Sunday, Rome said Italians could be repatriated by boat but has not issued an emergency evacuation, the foreign ministry said

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