Algeria: Head of internal security sacked in wake of deadly stampede

Algeria: Head of internal security sacked in wake of deadly stampede

Algeria’s interim President Abdelkader Bensalah has replaced head of internal security, Abdelkader Kara Bouhadba, after five people died Thursday in a stampede, at a rap concert, in capital Algiers.

The head of the DGSN Bouhadba held the position for few months only as he was appointed in February. His removal is part of few unprecedented reactions by Abdelkader Bensalah’s administration following the Thursday tragedy.

Five fans of Algerian rapper Draghi Abdel Raouf, better known as Solking, died in a stampede at the entrance of the 20 Aout stadium in capital Algiers and over 80 were wounded. The stampede occurred an hour before the concert starts. The stadium was full while a number of people who bought tickets were stuck outside.

Bensalah launched a probe into the tragedy and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui fired the head of the Copyright Office which organized the concert.

Bouhabda’s removal followed the resignation of the Minister of Culture Meriem Merdaci in reaction to the incident. She has been replaced by Communication Minister Hassane Rabehi as caretaker.

The various decisions are unprecedented. They occurred in a mega shift in the history of the North African country, dominated for 20 years by the regime of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, himself forced to step down early April under pressure from pro-democracy protests.

It is the first time in 20 years that the government made such reprisal moves as it faces demands for accountability.

Tens of thousands of Algerians have been marching every Friday since late February for regime change and for freedom and justice.

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