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Algerians hold largest anti-Bouteflika demonstration since Arab Spring uprising


Thousands of people in cities across Algeria on Friday called on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to leave office in the country’s biggest anti-government demonstrations since the Arab Spring began eight years ago.

The protests were mostly peaceful but scuffles broke out in the capital Algiers between police and protesters near the presidential palace, witnesses said.

One person died, according to a local official. Local media reported a 60-year-old man suffered a heart attack.

Several protesters and policemen were wounded during clashes in Algiers, state television said.

According to official figures, 63 people were wounded while 45 people were detained.

Large scale demonstrations – rarely seen in Algeria – against plans for Bouteflika to seek a fifth term in power in April’s election began a week ago, but Friday saw the biggest turnout yet.

The 82-year-old suffered a stroke in 2013 and has been seen in public only a few times since. His re-election bid stoked resentment among Algerians who believe he is not fit to lead the country.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has not directly addressed the protests.


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