Interim president misses Algeria Cup final amid clashes

Algeria's interim president missed the country's football cup final Saturday amid clashes between fans and police, a first in decades, local media reported.

Violence broke out just before kickoff between supporters of CR Belouizdad and JSM Bejaia at Blida stadium, 45 kilometres (28 miles) west of Algiers.

Rowdy fans forced security forces to temporarily evacuate officials including youth and sports minister Raouf Bernaoui, Algerian news sites reported.

Interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui's absence marked the first time in the Algeria Cup's nearly six-decade history that the head of state and premier had failed to attend the final.

The incident came amid nationwide protests that have continued to rock the North African nation since forcing longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down in April.

A presidential vote planned for July 4 was cancelled Sunday in the face of continued widespread protests demanding a broad political overhaul.

CR Belouizdad won the final 2-0 and the trophy was presented by Bernaoui due to the absence of his seniors.

Demonstrators flooded central Algiers on Friday for the 16th consecutive week demanding change and chanting "we're fed up with these rulers".

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