March 9, 2019 / 10:29 PM / 13 days ago

Tunisia's health minister resigns after 11 babies die in hospital

People take part in a protest after 11 babies mysteriously died in a hospital in Tunis, Tunisia, March 10, 2019. The wording on the box reads: "A gift for the Minister of Health''. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia’s health minister Abdel-Raouf El-Sherif resigned on Saturday after 11 babies mysteriously died within 24 hours in a hospital in the capital, state news agency TAP said.

The health ministry and state prosecutors have launched investigations into the cause of the babies’ death which was likely due to a blood infection, it said.

Tunisians have complained about a decline of state services since the overthrow of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 which has brought a democratic transition but also thrown the country into an economic crisis.

Government critics say the public sector is rife with corruption.

Reporting by Hasham Hajali, Tarek Amara and Ulf Laessing; editing by Diane Craft

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