195 demonstrators were arrested in Algiers on suspicion of looting and vandalism.
On the sidelines of the mass protests against the Algerian leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika, strangers have looted some of the country’s oldest museum. In the Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Art in Algiers “objects were stolen and offices of the museum administration were lit on fire” declared the Algerian Ministry of Culture on Saturday. The Ministry blamed “criminals” who had stepped in to protect the mass demonstrations. According to the information also documents and records were destroyed. The Minister spoke of a “crime against our historical heritage”.
It was only due to the rapid deployment of the fire brigade that the fire did not continue to spread. The police had been able to secure a saber from the time of the Algerian resistance against the French colonial power in the first half of the 19th century, it said. Opened in 1897, the museum is one of the oldest on the African continent. It is located in the capital at an intersection on one of the main access roads to the President’s residence. On Friday, clashes broke out between police and young demonstrators protesting against Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. These were the biggest demonstrations since the outbreak of the protests more than three weeks ago.
In the center of the capital, Algiers streets and squares were filled to bursting. The estimates ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of participants. After the end of the demonstrations, there were clashes. From a hospital in the capital Algiers on Saturday it was said that more than 100 civilians had been admitted. Some inhaled tear gas, others were hit by stones or rubber bullets. 195 people were arrested.