Seven Reported Killed in Renewed Algerian Riots, President Defiant
Algerian press repotrs quoted by TV programs said that seven people were killed in fresh ethnic riots on Monday, while more than 100 others were injured.
There was no official confirmation of the Monday casualties.
On Tuesday, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika declared he would hold on to power, despite ongoing riots against his regime that have killed dozens in the past two months, reported AFP.
A defiant speech by Bouteflika at a rally in southern Algeria came after his government announced measures that would open the way for troops to move against demonstrators.
It also notably came after an ethnic Berber-led anti-government march by almost a million people last week in Algiers, which turned riotous and bloody, and which presented the biggest challenge yet to Bouteflika's leadership.
Two journalists were killed in the mass protest as a demonstrator rammed the two in a stolen car.
AFP said that the violence in the capital last week claimed at least four lives and left 946 injured, according to official figures, and followed two months of serious unrest in the Kabylie region to the east.
"I am not a captain who abandons a sinking ship -- I am here, I am staying, in line with the will of the people who elected me," Bouteflika told the rally in Tamanrasset.
He admitted tat "Algeria is in crisis," but said he was willing to start talks to find a peaceful solution.
"Reforms and change must be undertaken calmly. I will not accept a revolution against public property and the people," he said.
Bouteflika's government late Monday announced it was banning all protests in the capital "until further notice" -- a move that enables soldiers to be used to put down further riots.
Tuesday's press said seven people were killed, including two paramilitary policemen, in disturbances in Kabylie.
These deaths brought to 87 the unofficial tally of people killed in the past two months. Official figures put the toll at 56 people killed and 2,300 injured – Albawaba.com
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