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Algeria protesters jailed before speech by interim president

ALGIERS, Algeria — An Algerian court has jailed 22 citizens detained during a protest march two days ago in a new sign that authorities may be trying to put the brakes on a pro-democracy movement demonstrating weekly for nearly seven months.

The TSA online media outlet reported the incarcerations on Sunday, quoting the group’s lawyers, hours before Algeria’s interim president is to address the nation. There is speculation that Abdelkader Bensalah will set a date for a much-contested presidential election.

The North African nation’s powerful army chief, Ahmed Gaid Salah, has pressed for a presidential vote as soon as possible to replace Abdelaziz Bouteflika, pushed out in April after two decades in office by protesters with help from the army leader.

Karim Tabou, a well-known figure in the protest movement, was jailed Friday.

The Associated Press