Police disperse protesters in Algerian capital

File: AFP
File: AFP

Baton-wielding police broke up a protest in Algiers on Friday, cracking down on demonstrators vowing to keep up the anti-regime movement that has rocked Algeria for nearly a year.

Police charged a group of several dozen people chanting anti-regime slogans, after demonstrators were blocked from gathering at the central Algiers rallying point of the weekly protest marches, now in their 47th week.

"Civil state, not military state," shouted protesters, a week after President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced the formation of a new government.

Police had been deployed in force in the centre of the capital and several protesters were arrested, according to witnesses.

"The Hirak (protest movement) must continue until the complete removal of the 'gang' - these traitors who sold out the country and hurt the future of our youth," said protester Farida Loukam.

"This Tebboune was designated, he was not chosen by the people," Loukam told AFP after she was violently shoved as police tried to tear away her banner.

A former prime minister under ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned in April 2019 under pressure from the street, 74-year-old Tebboune was elected president on December 12 after a vote marked by record abstention and boycotted by the protest movement.

Almost a year since its launch, the unprecedented protest movement continues to demand the dismantling of the political system and its representatives who have been in power for several decades.

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