Dozens Arrested in Protests against Fifth Term for Algeria President

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Security forces arrested 41 people during angry protests that rocked Algeria's capital against ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika seeking a fifth term, authorities said Saturday.

Police fired teargas on Friday afternoon to block a protest march on the presidential palace, prompting demonstrators to respond with stone-throwing.

The Directorate General for National Security (DGSN), said Saturday it had detained 41 people over "public disorder, vandalism, damage to property, violence and assault".

Despite the arrests, protests around the country were largely tolerated by authorities, even in the capital, where demonstrations have been strictly banned since 2001.

The police did not give an estimate of the number of protesters, but a security official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP that around 20,000 people had demonstrated nationwide, around a quarter of them in Algiers. 

The official said 38 of the arrests were in the capital, and that no security personnel had been wounded.

Activists had used social media to call for nationwide protests against Bouteflika on Friday after weekly Muslim prayers.

The 81-year-old, who uses a wheelchair and has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, announced on February 10 that he will run for another term in an April presidential election.

Comments 2
Thumb roflmfao 23 February 2019, 15:01

Dudes.. Lakhdars.. no.. we need Bouteflika to stay!.. Who else is our Strong Christian President™ gonna play with during the Arab summits.. and remissness about the olden days.. The last time they met.. our Strong Christian President™ regaled the Algerian president.. with tales of how as a boy.. he played "bil gilleh" in the court of the Deir el Qamar palace.. with the sons of Fakhreddine.. and Bouteflika told Aoun.. how as a boy he used to sell Pepsi to the Barbary Pirates.. BTW.. does anyone know.. what is a teflika?..

Thumb whyaskwhy 23 February 2019, 18:46

lol whatever a Taflika is hes baya, like our quisling is bay el sha3b and probably um el...
Its evident both are dictators and not statesmen and hence why after years of dis-service to their nation they are still there with nothing to account for. Orange peel supporters are proud of Clowns lack of abilities..... it mirrors their aspirations.