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Algeria army chief orders move to cut protests in Algiers

Algeria's army chief has ordered members of the military to arrest people heading into the capital for weekly pro-democracy demonstrations — and to seize their vehicles — claiming that some come with "malicious intentions."

Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah's tough new stance, announced on Wednesday, comes days after a December 12 date was set for presidential elections — just as he had demanded.

In his speech, Gaid Salah said that for some, coming into Algiers from other regions, has become a "pretext to justify dangerous behavior."

Protest marches held in Algiers and other cities since Feb. 22 forced then-President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office after two decades. Gaid Salah also called for the president to stand down.

Gendarmes, members of the military, often block roads into Algiers, but don't arrest people.