Monday, 21 February 2011

Algerian security forces stifle anti-government march

Latest reports from Algeria have confirmed that the country's security forces have stopped protesters staging an anti-government march through Algiers. Hundreds of demonstrators, from various groups, gathered in the capital's centre but were dispersed by armed police officers.

Over a week ago, Algerian security forces disrupted a similar rally in the capital calling for improved living standards and greater political freedom. In an interesting turn of events, Algeria's main opposition parties steered clear from Saturday's march, organised by the National Co-ordination for Change and Democracy. Leader of Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), Tahar Besbes was allegedly attacked by police during the conflict.

El Watan newspaper says about 1,000 protesters gathered, shouting slogans such as "Bouteflika out". Algeria's Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has said the government will lift a 19 year state of emergency by the end of the month.

Sources: BBC News, Voice of America, Sify

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

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