Two dead, 400 injured in Algeria riots: minister

AFP, Saturday 8 Jan 2011

Two people were killed and another 400 injured in Algeria's on going riots

Algeria riots
Police confront rioters during clashes at Al-Harrach neighbourhood, in eastern Algiers 6 January 2011. (Reuters)

Two people were killed and some 400 injured, including 300 policemen, in four days of riots in Algeria linked to rising food costs and unemployment, Interior Minister Dahou Ould Kablia said Saturday.

One civilian was shot dead in the M'sila region, 300 kilometres (200 miles) southeast of Algiers in a raid on a police station, and the other died of head injuries at Bou Smail, west of the capital, he said on state radio.

"More than 300 police and gendarmes have been wounded, while on the other side there are fewer than 100 hurt," he added, saying police had been ordered to show restraint.

An 18-year-old man on Friday became the first fatality in riots in Algeria linked to the rising costs of food and unemployment, the Arab-language daily El Khabar reported.
The report was not immediately confirmed by the authorities.

According to El Khabar, Azzedine Lebza was killed instantly when he was hit by a bullet in Ain Lahdjel in the M'Sila region, 300 kilometres (180 miles) southeast of Algiers.
Police were trying to evict demonstrators who had forced their way into the town's post office and a government building, the paper said.

Youths clashed with police in the capital and several other towns on Friday despite appeals for calm from imams after several days of unrest. About 75 percent of Algerians are under the age of 30, and 20 percent of the youth are unemployed, according to the International Monetary Fund.

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