63 injured, 45 arrested in Algeria's anti-gov't protest

  02 March 2019    Read: 2267
63 injured, 45 arrested in Algeria

As many as 56 police officers and seven citizens were injured during Friday's massive anti-government protest in Algeria, local police department said in a statement, Xinhua reports.

Despite peaceful marches, the demonstrators were intruded by groups of troublemakers and rubbers, who stole money from a fuel station in downtown Algiers.

They also set fire on two vehicles and vandalized facades of a state-run bank and Djazair Hotel, near the neighborhood of El Mouradia, where the presidency's headquarters were located.

These incidents occurred late in the evening, after the majority of protesters returned home. At least 45 people were arrested, including those who vandalized public and private properties.

Meanwhile, Echorouk TV channel alleged that a man died of an epileptic after anti-riot forces shot tear gas to disperse protesters who were trying to head to the neighborhood of El Mouradia.

Friday's anti-government marches were the largest ever in the last three decades in Morocco, as hundreds of thousands of people took to the street.

The marches were peaceful, as anti-riot forces did not resort to repression, Xinhua reporter noticed.

Presidential election in Algeria is due to be held on April 18, but some observers believe that the vote may be postponed regarding the current situation characterized by massive anti-regime protests.

Some 190 candidates started submitting their candidacy files to the Constitutional Council for examination. All files meeting standards would be given green light for election campaign.

Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia on Thursday insisted that the polls are maintained on the preset date, calling on the people to vote to make the aspired change.

Incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is currently in Geneva for medical examinations, according to a presidential statement.

Bouteflika, 81-year-old, suffered a stroke in 2013, and he was re-elected in 2014 for a fourth term until 2019.

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