Security forces fired tear gas at activists during the demonstrat

  during which some protesters called for the April presidential elections to be called off altogether and for parliament to be dissolved to make the way for a new government.

  Activists chanted, “Republic, not monarchy,” and “No to the fifth mandate,” a

mong other slogans rejecting the continuation of Bouteflika’s term on Friday. Some placards read “leave means leave.”

  Video on social media showed protesters this week setting pictures of Bouteflika on fire amid w

histles and cheers — scenes that are uncommon in a country tightly controlled by security services.

  The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces has started a ground operation to clear the la

st ISIS enclave in Syria, a spokesman for the group told CNN Friday.

  SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said thousands of civilians ha

ve been evacuated and kidnapped fighters have been freed in Baghouz, in eastern Syria,

  ”Only the terrorists remain in Baghouz.” Bali said in a tweet.

  At its height, ISIS controlled huge swaths of territory in Syria an

d Iraq. A US-led coalition has been working for years to oust the group from cities and towns.

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