Tunisians wave national flags and shout slogans on January 14, 2016, during a rally on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution. AFP / FETHI BELAID
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Thousands gathered in the Tunisian capital Thursday to mark the fifth anniversary of the overthrow of longtime dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in the uprising that inspired the Arab Spring.Tunisians thronged Habib Bourguiba Avenue, the main thoroughfare in central Tunis and the epicenter of the country's revolution five years ago. There was a heavy police presence at Thursday's celebrations, after Tunisia suffered a wave of deadly militant attacks last year. Ben Ali stepped down on Jan. 14, 2011, after tens of thousands of Tunisians took to the streets to oppose his 23-year rule, and fled to exile in Saudi Arabia, where he remains. The revolution inspired similar uprisings in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen and other Arab countries but only Tunisia is considered a success story of the Arab Spring.
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