Police have closed a private Algerian television station after it aired an interview in which a former insurgent leader trying to set up a political party harshly cautioned President Abdelaziz Bouteflika not to stand in his way.

Police showed up on Monday at the El Watan station and forced staff to leave.

The Communications Ministry said the station wasn't formally approved and had aired "subversive content attacking the symbols of state."

Madani Mezrag, founder of the armed wing of the now-banned Islamic Salvation Front, said on Oct. 4 he wants to create his own political party and if Bouteflika refuses "he'll hear from me."

A 1997 cease-fire deal with Algerian authorities forbids Mezrag from taking up politics.

An estimated 200,000 people died in Algeria's violent "black decade."