Thousands of Algeria ex-soldiers march on capital, demanding government benefits
Thousands of retired Algerian soldiers marched on the capital Algiers after clashes with security forces at a sit-in they have been holding for days.
The ex-servicemen left the sit-in on Monday in the Haouch al-Makhfi area west of the capital and descended on the city after days of protests, news website Tout Sur l'Algerie reported.
The move came after police attempted to disperse the sit-in on Sunday by firing tear gas canisters at protesters, reportedly injuring dozens.
Protest organiser Marawan Bassaf told The New Arab's Arabic-language service on Sunday that 20,000 former soldiers from around the country have gathered for the demonstation.
"This is our chance to pressure authorities to carry out our demands. We call on the president to not abandon the people who fought against terrorism in this country," Bassaf said.
The former soldiers, who fought in the bloody civil war in the early 90s, have long demanded authorities provide aid to troops disabled in the conflict and benefits such as social housing and medical treatment.
Authorities have so far rejected the demands.
In January, the military issued a statement accusing the protesters of "attempting to mislead public opinion and spread seeds of doubt".
Algeria's civil war, known as "black decade", pitted a myriad of Islamist forces against the central government, leaving thousands dead.