Eight Killed by Islamic Extremists in Algeria
Eight people including a mayor and his deputy were killed in Algeria in attacks by armed Islamic extremists, news reports said Saturday.
The mayor of Ouled Aissa, a town east of the capital Algiers, and his deputy were killed Thursday by three men who fired machine guns on them while they were at a cafe.
In farmland on the Mitidja Plain just outside Algiers, an armed group set up a fake checkpoint at Beni Mered where they attacked a taxi-bus on Thursday, killing four travellers and seriously wounding three, also in machine gun fire.
The same day near the city of Chlef, 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Algiers, a civilian guard patrol was ambushed, and two of the guards were killed.
Since the start in mid-November of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan -- considered auspicious by armed extremist groups -- 77 people have been killed in violent attacks, according to a toll compiled from official and press reports.
More than 150,000 people have been killed in Algeria's civil war, which erupted in 1992 after the army called off the second round of a general election the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was poised to win.
The FIS was outlawed later that year and its own armed wing took to the hills to fight the security forces.
The Islamic Salavation Army fully disbanded after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika offered a partial amnesty in 1999.
However, two other armed groups rejected his peace plan and remain active in the country. (AFP, ALGIERS)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)