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11:26, 09 March 2019

Algerians gather in largest protest against President Bouteflika

AKIPRESS.COM - Algerians protesting against the rule of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika have staged huge demonstrations in the capital, Algiers, and other cities, BBC reports.

Riot police fired tear gas to prevent protesters reaching a road leading to the presidential palace, but the rallies were mostly peaceful.

Local reports said nearly 200 people were detained by the security forces.

A wave of unrest began last month after Mr Bouteflika announced he would seek a fifth term in office in April.

The president, who is currently in hospital in Switzerland, has ruled Algeria for 20 years but has rarely been seen in public since he had a stroke in 2013.

He has warned that the protests could plunge the country into "chaos".

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