Anti-government rallies taking place in Yemen and Algeria have been broken up by the authorities in both states.

The demonstrations, inspired by the recent events in Egypt and Tunisia, occurred in the capitals, Algiers and Sanaa and were attended by thousands of protesters.

In Algiers, a crowd gathered and called for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to follow the lead of Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak and step down before being broken up by riot police. The UK’s BBC estimated the number of riot police on the streets of Algiers to be about 30,000.  

Public demonstrations have been banned in Algeria since 1992.

In Yemen’s capital Sana,a similar demonstrations calling for the resignation of Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh was attacked by government supporters.  

Protesters had marched past the Egyptian embassy chanting:  “After Mubarak, it’s Ali’s turn.”

However, the arrival of government supporters armed with traditional Yemeni knives and sticks forced the protesters to flee.