Algerian police launch wide arrest campaign over ethnic clashes

GMT 06:13 2015 Saturday ,11 July

Arab Today, arab today Algerian police launch wide arrest campaign over ethnic clashes

Algerian protesters clash with police
Algiers - XINHUA

Algerian police on Friday said a wide arrest campaign has been launched on the aftermath of the recent sectarian clashes that hit the southern city of Ghardaia, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds others.

As many as 27 people have been arrested on Thursday overnight for public order offense and engendering people's life and property, a statement of the National Police Department (DGSN) said.

The statement added that investigation teams "seized dozens of edged weapons and considerable amount of Molotov cocktails," noting that the arrest operation is still underwy untill all violators are put behind bars.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal rushed to Ghardaia in a bid to restore calm in this multi sectarian city.

Deadly ethnic clashes erupted a couple of days ago in the localities of Guerrara and Berriane in Ghardaia province, leaving so far 22 people dead, hundreds others injured, and several houses, stores and vehicles vandalized and burn out.

The province of Ghardaia has been hit, since December 2013, by a series of violent ethnic clashes between the Chaamba community, of Arab origin, and Mozabite Berbers of the Muslim Ibadi sect, which claimed so far more than 35 dead.

A shaky calm was restored last January after the two sides reached a truce initiated by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and led by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal.

Moreover, 8000 police and national gendarmerie troops have been deployed since then but the shaky calm has not resisted more than six months.

President Bouteflika held an urgent meeting later last week, as he ordered army to take control of Ghardaia.

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