Mass protests gathered thousands of people across Algeria on Friday with the largest number of demonstrators descending on the streets of Algiers. This prompted police to cordon off the area around the presidential palace and use tear gas against the protesters approaching it. The demonstrators, in their turn, threw stones on the law enforcement.
The demonstrators had been struck by police batons or injured by thrown stones near the presidential palace, El Watan news outlet reported on Friday. The Algerian En-Nahar news outlet reported, citing the country's General Directorate of National Security, that 56 police officers and seven civilians had been injured in the unrest.
The same agency added that 45 people had been detained during the demonstrations on Friday.
Meanwhile, Al Arabiya broadcaster reported, citing an informed source, that an elderly person had been killed in a stampede near the presidential palace.
The president, who has been governing Algeria since 1999, spent several weeks in a hospital in France after a suffering a stroke in 2013. Since then, he rarely made public appearances.