70 injured as Algerian youths, police clash

2014-04-18 14:08
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, sitting on a wheelchair, votes in the presidential elections in Algiers. (Sidali Djarboub, AP)

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, sitting on a wheelchair, votes in the presidential elections in Algiers. (Sidali Djarboub, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Raffour - Clashes in Algeria's restive Kabylie region between security forces and youths opposed to Thursday's presidential election wounded around 70 people, local sources said.

Separate groups of youths seeking to disrupt voting in the Bouira region, southeast of Algiers, ransacked polling stations in three localities shortly after they opened at 07:00, with riot police firing tear gas to disperse them.

At least 70 people were injured, including 47 policemen, and voting was temporarily suspended in Raffour, M'Chedellah and Saharij, the sources said.

In Raffour, anti-regime sentiment was palpable, with masked youths armed with slings and chanting hostile slogans confronting police who fired tear gas canisters, an AFP photographer reported.

Slogans they shouted included "Ulach smah" ("No forgiveness" in Kabyle, a Berber dialect), the cry of revenge for the bloody suppression of protests in 2001, in which more than 100 people were killed.

Graffiti scrawled across a metal barrier read: "No to Bouteflika, no to Benflis, yes to a democratic transition," referring to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is seeking re-election after 15 years in power, and his main rival Ali Benflis.

In Ighrem, also in the Bouira region, young men armed with clubs blocked off the exit to the town, burning tyres in the street, before police intervened to reopen it.

In the capital, where security forces have been heavily deployed, police aggressively arrested five protesters shouting anti-regime slogans, an AFP journalist reported.

Chronic health problems

Interior Minister Tayeb Belaiz insisted the election was taking place "in good conditions in the 50 000 voting centres" across the country, saying on state television that 23 percent of the electorate had cast their ballots by 13:00 GMT.

The ailing president, who suffered a mini-stroke last year and voted from a wheelchair on Thursday, has urged a large turnout as he eyes a fourth term in office.

Despite his chronic health problems, Bouteflika is widely expected to win the leadership contest against five other candidates.

But youth protest group Barakat (Enough) and a coalition of five opposition parties urged voters to shun an election they say is a "sham".

And Bouteflika's main election rival, Benflis, has repeatedly warned of fraud, describing it as his "main adversary" in the contest.

Police violently dispersed a demonstration organised by Barakat in Algiers on Wednesday and arrested some of its members.

A number of rallies were disrupted in the last week of the election campaign, some of them by protesters in the mainly-Berber Kabylie region backing calls for a boycott.
Read more on:    abdelaziz bouteflika  |  algeria  |  north africa  |  algeria elections 2014
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.