23 Jan 2011

Algeria riot police break up protest

8:41 am on 23 January 2011

Several people have been injured as Algerian police broke up an anti-government demonstration by several hundred people in the capital, Algiers.

An opposition party which organised the protest says many people were arrested, the BBC reports.

The gathering had been banned by the authorities, and marchers were confronted by riot police armed with batons and teargas.

The leader of the opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) said those held included its parliamentary leader.

The protest followed rioting in several cities set off by rising food prices.

Tunisia unrest continues

In neighbouring Tunisia, several thousand demonstrators including a number of police officers have taken part in a march in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, demanding that the interim government resigns.

Police participation in the rally is significant, the BBC says, as until a week ago police were defending the now-ousted government of President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali.

The interim government has promised to hold polls within six months, but has not so far set a date.

Tunisians are marking the second of three days of mourning for those killed during the month-long uprising which prompted Mr Ben Ali and his family to flee to Saudi Arabia on 14 January.