Police in the Algerian capital used water cannon yesterday to try to disperse about 100 young men protesting about housing conditions.
Algeria, an oil and gas producer which suffers from high unemployment and a housing shortage, has periodic outbreaks of social unrest but rarely in the heavily-policed capital.
A Reuters reporter in the Diar Echams district saw the protesters throwing stones at a force of about 400 police officers. Police in riot gear use water cannon and an armoured vehicle in unsuccessful attempts to disperse them.
Residents said the protesters lived in a shantytown and were angered when local authorities published a list of those eligible for re-housing. They believed they were being discriminated against, the residents said.
“Most of the young people living here are in fact not living,” said a man in his 50s who gave his name as Ahmed.
“They have nothing. I know many who are over 40 but cannot get married because they do not have a house and they do not have a job.”
By evening, there was a lull in the clashes after police and representatives of the protesters began negotiations.
Pic: Algerian policewomen