January 17, 2011 / 6:35 PM / 8 years ago

French photographer hurt in Tunisia protests dies

PARIS, Jan 17 (Reuters) - A French photographer covering street protests in Tunisia has died from head injuries sustained on Friday when he was struck by a tear gas canister, his family said on Monday.

Lucas Mebrouk Dolega, 32, was in Tunis for the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA), covering the protests that led to the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on Friday.

“Lucas, a French photojournalist, died carrying out his passion and his job as a result of an injury inflicted by a blow to his head from a tear gas canister on Friday, Jan 14,” his family said in a statement.

At least 100 people died in the revolt against unemployment, corruption, poverty and repression that led to Ben Ali’s overthrow, but Dolega was the first foreign media casualty.

In a statement France’s foreign ministry said Dolega’s death was “deliberate homicide”, adding that there was no justification for a disproportionate use of violence towards demonstrators or journalists. (Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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