Algeria warns opposition against banned protest

ALGIERS, Algeria  — The Algerian government warned it will be the opposition's fault if a pro-democracy protest later this month turns violent.
Opposition leaders, human rights groups, unions, students and jobless workers are planning a march Feb. 12 in Algiers, the capital. They want the government to lift the state of emergency that has been in effect since 1992, end its ban on new political parties and generally be more transparent.
But Deputy Algerian Prime Minister Nouredine Yazid Zerhouni reminded organizers Wednesday that the march is "officially banned."
"Those who are calling for this march must take responsibility for damage or for things getting out of hand," Zerhouni told reporters, adding that the government had no plans to lift its state of emergency.