Algeria to Mobilize 25,000 Policemen Ahead of Opposition March

Algeria authorities would mobilize 25,000 policemen ahead of an opposition rally planned for the capital Algiers on Saturday for an end to a state of emergency slapped in Algeria for almost 20 years, local daily Echorouk reported on Thursday.

Half of the new reinforcements are anti-riot policemen to be stationed across the capital, the paper said, citing senior officials.

Hoping to build on the momentum generated by the uprising in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, the National Coordination for Change and Democracy (CNCD), a body of opposition parties and civil society groups, has called for the march and said it would defy a ban on protests.

Algerian authorities have banned protests since 2001 after protests in the Kabylie region left eight dead and hundreds wounded.

Last week, Algerian president pledged to lift Algeria’s state of emergency and allow more democratic freedoms.

Earlier the year, riots and protests broke out across Algeria against skyrocketing food prices and unemployment. Four people were been killed and 800, including 736 policemen, were wounded in the protests.

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