Seven Herders Held After Inner Mongolia Clashes
Chinese authorities in the northern region of Inner Mongolia are holding seven ethnic Mongolian herders after clashes with a mining company they said polluted their grazing lands, local residents said on Thursday. The detentions came after around 150 herders from Chagaan-oboo Gachaa in Heshigten Banner (in Chinese, Keshiketeng Qi) to the north of Chifeng city staged a sit-in protest in front of the Inner Mongolia Yindu Mining Co. on Wednesday. Herders told RFA that the company had been dumping toxic waste onto their grazing lands in since January, causing the death of livestock. “They were afraid of trouble, so they just called in the riot police from Heshigten and detained eight people,” a local herder who declined to be identified said.
Thousands march across West Bank, Gaza to mark Prisoners Day
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — At least ten Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces on Thursday as thousands participated in protests across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to commemorate the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day. Large demonstrations took place in Hebron, Gaza City, Jenin, Nablus, and Ramallah to mark the day of solidarity with the more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners currently being held in Israeli prisons. The demonstrations took place amid a major row with Israel over its failure to release a batch of prisoners held for more than twenty years as previously agreed upon as a part of ongoing peace negotiations.
Protesters clash with police in Algeria over Bouteflika’s re-election bid
The state murders’ – that was the rallying cry for hundreds of young protesters in Algeria on Thursday to demonstrate against the country’s presidential elections The unrest around 120 kilometres east of Algiers in the village of Rafour, saw small scale clashes against the authorities. ‘‘We are not supporting anyone, we are neither with the candidate (Abdelaziz) Bouteflika nor with (Ali) Benflis. We are fed up with this authoritarian system, we are fed up with everything in Algeria,’‘ said one young man.
Another nearby town reported burnt ballot boxes. The protest area is a stronghold of the RCD opposition party, which boycotted the vote. One protester said: ‘‘People completely reject this election. It is not an election, it’s a farce.’‘
70 wounded as anti-vote Algerian youths, police clash
Clashes in Algeria’s restive Kabylie region between security forces and youths opposed to Thursday’s presidential election wounded around 70 people, AFP reports according to local sources. Separate groups of youths seeking to disrupt voting in the Bouira region, southeast of Algiers, ransacked polling stations in three localities shortly after they opened at 0700 GMT, with riot police firing tear gas to disperse them.
At least 70 people were injured, including 47 policemen, and voting was temporarily suspended in Raffour, M’Chedellah and Saharij, the sources said. In Raffour, anti-regime sentiment was palpable, with masked youths armed with slings and chanting hostile slogans confronting police who fired tear gas canisters, an AFP photographer reported. Slogans they shouted included “Ulach smah” (“No forgiveness” in Kabyle, a Berber dialect), the cry of revenge for the bloody suppression of protests in 2001, in which more than 100 people were killed. Graffiti scrawled across a metal barrier read: “No to Bouteflika, no to Benflis, yes to a democratic transition,” referring to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is seeking re-election after 15 years in power, and his main rival Ali Benflis. In Ighrem, also in the Bouira region, young men armed with clubs blocked off the exit to the town, burning tyres in the street, before police intervened to reopen it.