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Monday, 21 May, 2001, 01:11 GMT 02:11 UK
More Berber unrest in Algeria
Lawyers carry a banner reading For a state of rights, no impunity
Lawyers demonstrate in Tizi Ouzou for "a state of rights"
By Peter Hiett

Fresh unrest has broken out in the north-east of Algeria, home to the ethnic Berber group who are furious about the police's aggressive response to pro-Berber demonstrations earlier this month and last.

Although more than 20,000 people demonstrated peacefully on Sunday in the main town, Tizi Ouzou, elsewhere the protests turned violent.

Nassim Kheffache, 23, shot by police during earlier riots
A young Berber, shot in earlier riots with an explosive bullet
One town, Seddouk, was paralysed as youths pelted police with stones and set trees and tyres on fire. Police replied with teargas. Similar though smaller clashes took place elsewhere, as protesters demanded the withdrawal of the paramilitary police from the area.

Berbers in Algeria have long campaigned for linguistic and cultural equality with the Arab population - demands which Algerian governments have historically resisted, sometimes violently.

List of demands

Thousands of people rallied outside local government offices in Tizi Ouzou, and then marched on a local court building.

They will be drawing up a list of demands.

The protesters are still furious at the way the police fired into the crowd at the earlier pro-Berber demonstrations, which were sparked by the killing of a teenage student in police custody.

The government says 40 people were killed then. Local people say twice that number died.

And though the government has set up an inquiry into the latest outbreak, this weekend's trouble suggests that local people do not think it is enough. More protests are planned for Monday.

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See also:

03 May 01 | Middle East
Police crack down on Berber rally
01 May 01 | Middle East
Berbers quit Algeria government
01 May 01 | Middle East
Berbers battle for recognition
30 Apr 01 | Middle East
Algeria probes Berber riots
30 Apr 01 | Middle East
Berber riots shake government
05 Jul 98 | Middle East
Only Arabic for Algeria
28 Jun 98 | Middle East
The Berbers: fighting on two fronts
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Algeria
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