Algeria : Heavy rioting in Algiers

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The city of Chlef, Western Algiers, continues to be the scene of violent clashes between security forces and the local population against the abolition of financial assistance to victims of the 1980 earthquake under the 2007 Finance Act.

By Kaci Racelma our Northern African correspondent

Rioting continues in Algiers city where several public buildings have been ransacked and set on fire by hundreds of people expressing their anger related to the suppression of financial assistance to victims of the 1980 earthquake under the 2007 Finance Act.

Tensions are running high today, Tuesday, as hundreds of police reinforcements have been called in to stem the rioting demonstrators who appear determined with their rampage until their demands are met. On their part, Policemen have reacted to the stone-throwing rioters by using tear gas to disperse them.

The arrest of dozens of young rioters has heightened tensions and anger among demonstrators who are also demanding the resignation of the local Wali.

Article 99 of the Act in question grants a financial assistance of 1 million dinars or more in the form of credit with subsidized interest rates not exceeding 2 percent to victims of the 1980 disaster.

In 1980 a violent earthquake that shook Chlef destroyed several houses. Affected families have maintained thair claim for government housing as well as appropriate living standards.

Some commentators say the situation is likely to continue if the authorities do not respond to the grievances of the determined population. Meanwhile some demonstrators are reported to have been wounded in the clashes.

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