Former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia with his wife, Leila [EPA]

Security forces have arrested the brother of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the north African nation's ousted leader, according to the state TAP news agency.

Quoting the Tunisian interior ministry, TAP said Slah Ben Ali was arrested on Sunday evening in the city of Sousse, south of the capital Tunis.

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"The interior ministry has informed that security forces in Sousse arrested Slah Ben Ali, the brother of the former president, at a house in Sousse around 18:30 [local time] today," TAP said, without giving further details.

Ben Ali was toppled by mass protests on January 14 after 23 years in power and fled to Saudi Arabia.

Several members of his family and security detail as well as some of his closest allies were detained shortly after he was forced out.

Seeking to assert their authority and gain legitimacy in the eyes of protesters who forced Ben Ali to flee, the caretaker authorities are attacking the vestiges of his 23 year rule.

Tunisia's interim authorities appointed a new government on March 7 and disbanded the state security apparatus, notorious for human rights abuses under Ben Ali.

Last month, the interim government said it would freeze assets of 112 people close to the ousted president pending the completion of judicial investigations.

Source: Agencies