ALGERIA

Protestors clash with police for second day

Clashes broke out again late Tuesday when demonstrators protesting poor housing conditions threw rocks at police in the Algerian capital of Algiers in a second day of violence.

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For a second day in a row, demonstrators clashed with police in the Algerian capital of Algiers on Tuesday signalling a spike in public displays of discontent in a heavily-policed city, where protests are normally rare.

About 100 protesters threw stones and petrol bombs at police in the impoverished Diar Echam neighbourhood in eastern Algiers, injuring at least 11 police officers, according to police officials.

Residents of a Diar Echam shanty town protesting housing shortages and rising unemployment had set up roadblocks in the shanty town and clashes broke out when about 400 policemen attempted to clear the demonstrators.

One police officer was seriously hurt after falling from a rock face as he tried to climb up to the protesters, and was taken away in an ambulance, security sources told the Reuters news service. Several other police officers were also hurt in the melee.

Awaiting the trickle-down of oil and gas wealth

Public discontent has been mounting in the capital of the oil and gas-rich North African nation in recent years.

After years of a crippling, brutal civil war during the 1990s, the Algerian economy has been growing, with international investors flocking to tap the country’s energy reserves. Algeria is currently the world's fourth largest exporter of natural gas.

But the wealth of the state has failed to trickle down to many average Algerians, with acute unemployment and housing shortages sparking discontent, especially in Algeria’s impoverished urban areas.

The recent clashes in Diar Echam broke out Monday, when residents took to the streets after local authorities published a list of those eligible for social housing. Residents who were not on the list protested because they believed they were being discriminated against.

Six policemen and several demonstrators were injured in Monday’s clashes, according to local media reports.
 

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