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Hundreds of Algerian students protest, call for strike

Hundreds of students gather with posters reading "system, get out" or "Free Algeria" in central Algiers to protest Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's decision to seek fifth term, Tuesday, March 6, 2019. Algerian students are gathering for new protests and are calling for a general strike if he doesn't meet their demands this week. (AP Photo/Fateh Guidoum)

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algerian students are gathering for new protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to seek a fifth term, calling for a general strike if he doesn’t meet their demands this week.

Hundreds of students gathered in central Algiers and in three cities in southern Algeria, holding signs in English that read “Algeria is not a kingdom.”

Responding to Algeria’s biggest protest movement in years, Bouteflika released a statement Sunday that if he’s re-elected, he would hold a referendum on a new constitution and call an early election in which he wouldn’t run.

The 82-year-old Algerian leader hasn’t been seen since the protests began. He was in Switzerland last week for what has been described as medical tests.

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