Shop owners covered shattered windows with plywood and schools prepared to reopen Saturday as calm settled on Algeria after a week of bloody rioting.
Armored vehicles remained on guard at major points throughout the capital, but other military personnel were pulled off the streets Thursday to signal the end of a six-day state of emergency called after unrest left hundreds dead and injured.But Islamic fundamentalists, who attempted to gain control of the riots that began Oct. 4 against a government austerity program, warned Thursday that demonstrations will resume following prayers Friday, the Moslem holy day.
The government announced schools will re-open Saturday after having been closed a week. Soccer matches, a popular sport with Algerian youth, were to resume next week after a two-week suspension, officials said.
Government offices, national organizations and state-owned shops, which suffered heavy damage during the violence, began to re-open. Some stores, where plywood replaced shattered windows, let small groups of shoppers in.
Basic food and consumer goods, previously scarce, re-appeared in Algerian stores and lines for bread disappeared. People wheeled home sacks of semolina, recently unobtainable except through the black market and used to make the North African staple of couscous.
Butter re-appeared at the subsidized price of about $1.95 a pound, much lower than its regular price before the revolt.
The return to near-normalcy followed a quick response by President Chadli Bendjedid to the demands of youthful rioters protesting the shortage of goods, the high cost of living and a government austerity plan.
On Wednesday, Bendjedid announced Algerians will be asked to vote Nov. 3 in a referendum to make the prime minister responsible to the People's National Assembly, Algeria's parliament.