Despite ban: Algerians hold pro-democracy rally
Algerian police clashed with pro-democracy demonstrators in the Algerian capital on Saturday leaving several people wounded, including the leader deputy of an opposition party that organized the event. "There are several injured... and numerous arrests," Said Sadi, the head of the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), told AFP.
Among those arrested was the head of the party's parliamentary group, Othmane Amazouz, he said.
The government had warned people not to show support for the demonstration in a statement issued on the eve of the march. "Citizens are asked to show wisdom and vigilance and not respond to possible provocation aimed at disturbing their tranquillity, peace of mind and serenity," said the statement, carried by the official news agency APS.
About 300 people had defied a ban to attempt to hold the demonstration but were confronted by dozens of police armed with batons, tear gas and plexiglas shields.
In recent times, Algeria has seen a number of suicide cases similar to the Tunisian Mohammed Bouazizi, who set himself on firea nd sparked a popular revolt in Tunisia, which led to the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.