Heavy police presence blocks protest in Algiers

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Heavy police presence blocks protest in Algiers

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In Algiers 30,000 riot police were deployed as protesters tried to stage a march against the rule of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Security forces set up road blocks across the capital to stifle the demonstration.

The Interior Ministry said the crowd numbered 250 while 14 people were detained and released immediately.

The opposition RCD party which helped organise the march said between 7,000 and 10,000 took to the streets with 1,000 being taken into custody.

Mostefa Bouchachi, is the President of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights:

“I am sorry to say the government has deployed a huge force to prevent a peaceful march. We are here peacefully looking for a new political system in Algeria.”

Scuffles broke out between supporters of Boutefilka and those opposed to his regime.

Public demonstrations have been banned in Algeria under a state of emergency in place since 1992.

Despite the huge police presence opponents of Bouteflika have called for the protests to continue.