For the fourth successive Saturday, security forces in Algiers have rebuffed attempts by pro-democracy protesters to defy a government ban and march in the Algerian capital.
To outwit the authorities, demonstrators planned three marches in different places – only to be outnumbered and dispersed by police.
One opposition leader, Said Saadi, left the scene after being slightly injured by an apparent knife wound.
He was hounded by a group of around fifty pro-government youths, who in the words of one witness were determined ‘to lynch him’.
Supporters of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika were there in force. There were chants of ‘Bouteflika isn’t Mubarak’. Reports say some molested and chased away government opponents.
Despite reports of divisions within the opposition many remain determined to fight on.
“The protest movement is certainly not dead in Algeria,” said euronews’ correspondent in Algiers, Farouk Atig. “But all among the opposition agree that change will take time. The formidable police presence deployed in recent weeks to try to destroy the protests has only very partially worked. One new development: several town mayors have decided to take to the streets.”