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Police crack down on anti-regime protesters in Algerian capital

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Riot police vehicles are lined up on both sides of a main street in central Algiers as anti-government demonstrators protest, in the Algerian capital, on January 10, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Baton-wielding police have broken up a protest in Algiers, 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 the protesters, a week after President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced the formation of a new government.

Police had been deployed in force in the center of the capital, and several protesters were arrested on Friday, 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.

(Source: AFP)

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