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Algerian Police Clash with Protesters

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TEHRAN, Feb 23 (ICANA) – Scuffles have broken out as Algerian police faced off with some 500 student protesters who gathered outside the education ministry, leading to several injuries.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:30:02 AM
Algerian Police Clash with Protesters

Several anti-government protesters were injured when police used batons to break up a Monday rally in the Algerian capital, Algiers, a Press TV correspondent reported. Algerian police brandishing clubs weaved their way through the crowd of opposition supporters in central Algiers, banging their shields, tackling some protesters and keeping traffic flowing through the planned march route. The protesters are demanding President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's ouster, citing the same problems of high unemployment, high food prices and corruption that inspired revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. "Large numbers of police were mobilized to prevent the students from going ahead. Dozens of police vans and military-style vehicles were dotted around the capital hours before the demonstration was supposed to begin," Mustapha Bouchachi, president of Algerian League for Human Rights said. According to Noureddine Ben Braham, parliamentarian and president of the Algerian Muslim Scouts, the Algerian unrest could affect the world economy. "Unrest in Algeria could have implications on the world economy since it is a major oil and gas exporter, but analysts say an Egypt-style revolt is unlikely because the government can use its energy wealth to placate most grievances. Algeria's biggest opposition forces are not taking part in the protest," Ben Braham said. In a massive rally in Algiers on February 19, Algerian opposition leader Tahar Besbes was badly injured when riot police clashed with pro-democracy protesters. Around 30,000 riot police and armored vehicles were dispatched and blockaded adjacent streets to the rallying point, May 1 Square, as the demonstrators chanted, “Algeria free and democratic,” and “People want the fall of the regime.” The protesters, who were inspired by a wave of uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, are demanding an end to corruption and a review of the education system, as well as engineers' salaries. They are also demanding the government lift the state of emergency and release prisoners arrested during last month's demonstrations. At least three Algerians were killed and more than 400 others injured in violent clashes in January.

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