Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Riots in Algiers

Serious rioting broke out in the Diar Elaffia neighborhood of eastern Algiers on Tuesday 23rd November. In spite of the ring-fence barricading and heavily policing of Algiers, unrest and rioting seems to be coming more prevalent.

In October 2009, protestors threw petrol bombs at police during several days of rioting over housing conditions. We reported the sustained unrest and rioting because of the inadequate and cramped slum housing conditions in the suburb of Diar Echems, close to Diar Elaffia, in February and March of this year.

The cause of the latest rioting in the densely populated suburb of Diar Elaffia was the demolition of three houses by municipal workers, which officials had ruled had been built illegally. Although the local media seems to have avoided reporting on the incident, at least so far, Reuters reported that dozens of local residents blocked roads, with young men in particular throwing stones and glass bottles at the police.

The police called in reinforcements in the form of heavily armed riot police to quell the unrest. Our sources, who were able to film the actions of the riot police, estimated at least a dozen people injured. The riot has now been reported on both Al Jazeera and Your News (Arabic), with local reports confirming that 23 people were hospitalised, four with serious injuries. As most people try and avoid hospitalisation in order to avoid identification, the number of people injured is inevitably much higher.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2010 Menas Associates

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