Violent clashes in Algiers slums

People living in a shanty town in the Algerian capital have clashed with police for a second night in a row over housing conditions.

At least nine officers were injured as protesters in the Diar Echams suburb threw stones and fire bombs at them.

Clashes first erupted on Monday, as residents of the district demanded that the city authorities include them on a list of those eligible for re-housing.

A large security presence in Algiers means such violent unrest is rare.

Protesters on high ground above the suburb threw missiles on police in riot gear as they attempted to enter the area late on Tuesday.

On Monday, about 400 police officers used tear gas and water canon to break up the demonstration.

Residents said they were protesting against squalid conditions in the working class suburb and calling for the city authorities to provide them with new homes.

One man, who gave his name as Hichem, said up to 14 people were living in some homes, with not enough room for everyone to sleep at the same time.

“Some young boys spend all the night outside taking drugs so that their brothers and sisters can sleep. We will not stop the riot,” he said.

Algiers has high levels of unemployment and poverty, but the strong security presence in place because of an ongoing Islamist insurgency means social unrest is usually contained.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8317667.stm

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