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Algerians Defy Protest Ban

Thousands of protesters flooded the streets of the Algerian capital Algiers on Saturday, defying a ban on demonstrations and calling for political reform in the North African country.

In recent weeks, as protesters swarmed in Tunisia and Egypt, eventually toppling the long-time rulers in both places, other Arab leaders have scrambled to diffuse unrest at home. Large-scale protests have erupted in Jordan, Yemen, Algeria and Sudan. Algerian protests first flared last month, inspired in part by the demonstrations taking place in next-door Tunisia. But in Algeria, anger over a sudden increase in food prices—enacted by the government as part of what it had billed as economic reforms—was also a big trigger. Since then, Algeria worked to reverse those hikes. In subsequent weeks, as revolts in Tunisia and Egypt inspired other Arab protesters to demand political reform, Algerian opposition leaders have made similar demands.


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