Thousands of Municipal Guards Rally in Algeria
    2011-03-07 22:36:49     Xinhua      Web Editor: Guo
 
Thousands of Algerian anti- terrorism municipal guards demonstrated Monday in the capital of Algiers to claim their rights and demand better living condition, a Xinhua reporter at the scene said.

Thousands of municipal guards from different parts of Algeria rallied Monday morning in Martyrs Square in the downtown. They managed to reach the National People's Assembly, the lower chamber of the parliament, after breaking up the security cordon of police.

A well informed source told Xinhua reporter that the number of demonstrators reached four thousand.

The demonstrators decided to rally until their demands are met. They held anti-government signboards and chanted slogans that remind of their sacrifices in the field of countering terrorism.

The municipal guards, who used to fight terrorism in isolated villages and mountainous regions, have rejected the government's proposals aiming at integrating them into the National People's Army or as security guardians in official institutions. They claimed that they have several alternative proposals.

The demonstrators demanded wage hikes or offers of anticipated retirement, in addition to high compensation for the long years they spent in fighting terrorism.

The security body of municipal guards was established in 1994 by the government to back up the army and police forces in the fight against terror groups. The body is composed of ordinary citizens, both youngsters and middle-aged people of lower education level. It pertains to the National Gendarmerie and is in the bottom list of security bodies in terms of importance.

Hundreds of the municipal guards have been assassinated and tortured by terrorists.

The Algerian government is currently considering the redeployment and reinsertion of municipal guards, Algerian Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia said several days ago.

In a statement to the press on the margin of Senate spring session opening, Ould Kablia underlined that the redeployment of municipal guards will be conducted by taking into account their competences and their abilities. "We have to support and rehabilitate the corps that was involved in safeguarding the nation and the Republic alongside the National People's Army in the fight against terrorism," the minister said.
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