Clashes In Algeria: 40 Police Officers Injured At Anti-Fracking Protests (Video)

 

By Black Powder | Red Power Media

In Algeria forty police officers were injured in clashes with protesters at a rally against shale gas exploration.

“The town of In-Salah saw incidents involving public order, initiated by a group of young people protesting against shale gas operations in the region,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said the clashes “caused injuries to 40 police officers, including two who were seriously injured.”

Protesters set fire to the police headquarters and the residence of the police chief, as well as part of a police barracks and a police truck.

The protesters threw stones and other objects at police, who responded with beatings, tear gas and water cannons. A dozen people were arrested.

Photo: Desert Boys / Facebook

Photo: Desert Boys / Facebook

Tens of thousands of people in Algeria have joined a mass movement to halt fracking. The protests have involved peaceful blockades and marches with broad swaths of society.

The anti-fracking movement has been met by state repression. But instead of deflating the movement, state repression inflamed the anger on the streets.

Anti-shale gas demonstrations have increased in since late December, when Algerian oil company Sonatrach announced it had successfully completed its first pilot drilling in the In-Salah region.

Sonatrach announced in early February that its exploratory drilling for shale gas using hydraulic fracturing would continue despite mounting hostility among people living nearby who are concerned about the consequences on the environment.

Continuous demonstrations were held for two months at In-Salah, the town closest to the drilling sites.

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Algeria has seen massive investment in shale gas to compensate for declining oil revenues.

According to international studies, Algeria has the fourth largest reserves of shale gas globally, after the US, China and Argentina.