Some 150 members of Algeria's police force have staged an unprecedented march through the capital in solidarity with their colleagues in the south and called for their chief to step down.

Wearing blue uniforms but without weapons or armor, the police marched along the highway from their barracks into Algiers, through the rain and on to the main headquarters in the Bab al-Oued neighborhood.

The police said they were marching in solidarity with their embattled colleagues in the southern oasis city of Ghardaia who mounted a demonstration of their own Monday to protest their working conditions.

Some 1,500 members of the police protested in Ghardaia over the difficulty of separating the warring Berber and Arab communities in the picturesque oasis town.

Algeria's police have not been known to demonstrate before.