Laghouat is the capital city of the Laghouat Province, Algeria, 400 km south of the Algerian capital Algiers in the Atlas Mountains. As of 2005, the population of the city was 126,291 inhabitants. Nearby, in Hassi R'Mel, there is the largest natural gas reserve in Africa.
The city was founded in the 11th Century. In 1852, the French took over the city. Since 1974, it is an Algerian province.
Laghwat town in Saharan Tell Atlas is an oasis on the north edge of the Sahara Desert. It is an important administrative and military center and marketplace and is known for rug and tapestry weaving. There are natural gas deposits in the region. The town has a meteorological station. Laghouat traces its history at least to the 11th century. It paid tribute to Morocco in the 17th century. The Turks captured Laghouat in 1786, and the French conquered the city in 1852.
On January 2012 Laghouat was the site of anti-government protests over housing, infrastructure, and treatment of the elderly by police. The police used tear gas to disperse the