Friday, April 18, 2014

Clashes in Algeria, 70 people injured

The clashes in the restive Kabylie region of Algeria , between security forces and opposition youths presidential election , Saturday, causing about 70 people were injured , said local sources .

Youth groups separately trying to disrupt voting in the Bouira region , southeast of Algiers , raided polling places ( TPS ) in three locations after opening at 07.00 local time . Riot police fired tear gas to disperse them .

At least 70 people were injured , including 47 policemen , and the voting was temporarily suspended in Raffour , MChedellah and Saharij , the source said .

In Raffour , anti - regime sentiments are felt , with masked youths armed hostilities chanted facing the police who fired tear gas , an AFP photographer said .

They chanted slogans including " Ulach smah " ( " There is no forgiveness " , the Berber dialect ) , calls for revenge over the bloody suppression of protests in 2001 , in which more than 100 people dead .

Graffiti written on an iron barrier reads : " No to Bouteflika , not Benflis , yes to democratic transition , " referring to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika , who wants to be re-elected after 15 years in power , and his main opponent Ali Benflis .

In Ighrem , also in the region of Bouira , armed youths blocking the exit to the city , burning tires in the street , before police intervened to reopen it .

In the capital , where security forces were deployed in large, aggressive police arrested five protesters who chanted anti - regime , reports AFP reporter said .

Interior Minister Tayeb Belaiz insisted that elections take place " in good condition in 50,000 polling stations " across the country . He said on state TV that 23 percent of voters had cast their ballots at 13.00 local time .

President of Algeria who suffered a mild stroke last year and gave voice to a wheelchair , on Thursday , urging voters in large numbers because he is eyeing a fourth masabakti .

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

But youth protest groups and a coalition of five opposition Barakat urged voters to avoid the election which they say is " false " .

Bouteflika's main election rival , Benflis , has repeatedly warned about the scam , which is described as the " main enemy " in the presidential election .
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Police forcibly dispersed a demonstration in Algiers organized by Barakat , Wednesdays, and captures some of its members .


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