Islamic Extremists Kill 12 in Algeria
An Islamic extremist group killed 12 people overnight at Berrouaghia, south of the Algerian capital Algiers, the security services said Tuesday.
Berrouaghia is near the town of Medea, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Algiers, in a region which was known as "the triangle of death" during the mid-1990s at the height of armed Muslim fundamentalist insurgency in the north African country.
The authorities gave no details of the massacre, saying in a statement only that those killed were victims of "cowardly murder by a terrorist group", the term officials use for Islamic extremists.
In February, 27 people were massacred at Berrouaghia.
On July 6, security services said fundamentalists had killed 10 people in an attack in the same region, where the hard-line Armed Islamic Group (GIA) is active.
The GIA is one of two movements, which refused to accept a conditional amnesty offered to Islamic guerrillas by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after he came to power in April 1999.
The insurgency began after the army intervened in January 1992 to stop the second round of a general election which seemed set to bring the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) to power.
The now-outlawed FIS had swept the board in the first round of the vote.
Since the beginning of this year, about 1,300 people have been killed in violence related to the insurgency, according to a toll compiled from press reports.
When Bouteflika took office, he acknowledged that the insurgency had already claimed some 100,000 lives -- ALGIERS (AFP)