Chief of the Armed Islamic Group Killed in Algeria
The chief of the Armed Islamic Group — Algeria's most fundamental insurgency movement — was killed in a gun battle with security forces near the capital, the Algerian news agency APS said Saturday.
Security forces surrounded Antar Zouabri and two other activists on Friday in Boufarik, about 50 kilometers south of Algiers, and killed him in a shootout, APS reported.
Zouabri, 32, has been reported killed in the past, but Saturday's report was more credible since it was circulated by the official news agency.
Zouabri's group is blamed for many bloody massacres in this North African state.
The death of Zouabri marks a major step in the military-backed government's war against the decade-long rebellion. Zouabri was a top proponent of the group's call for a general uprising to overturn the government.
There is only other major revolt leader still alive: Hassan Hattab of the Salafist Group for Call and Combat. According to AP, Zouabri has led the Armed Islamic Group since former leader Djamel Zitouni was killed in 1996.
Zitouni was blamed for the deadly hijacking of an Air France jetliner on Christmas Eve 1994 and a campaign of bombings in France in 1995. (Albawaba.com)
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