More Deaths Reported in Algeria
An armed gang killed Algerian Supreme Court Judge Abdelhamid Hedda at a roadblock in the northeast part of the country, an official source said on Wednesday, quoted by AFP. The agency also reported 10 fatalities in ongoing Berber riots.
Hedda died in a hail of bullets on Tuesday night as he tried to flee in his car from the roadblock, set up near Seriana in the Batna region 430 kilometers (270 miles) east of Algiers.
The official source said that the armed gang stopped and robbed people in several cars before making their getaway.
Meanwhile, 10 other people have died in rioting centered in Algeria's ethnic Berber region, press reports said on Wednesday, as a defiant President Abdelaziz Bouteflika vowed to hold on to power and signaled a crackdown on unrest could be imminent.
Dozens of people were injured in the latest violence, newspapers said.
In an impassioned speech to a rally in southern Algeria on Tuesday, Bouteflika admitted that "Algeria is in crisis," but said he was willing to start talks to find a peaceful solution.
"I am not a captain who abandons a sinking ship -- I am here, I am staying, in line with the will of the people who elected me," Bouteflika told the rally in Tamanrasset.
The speech came against a backdrop of ongoing riots against his regime that have killed up to 90 people in the past two months, according to unofficial figures.
In the same context, the daily El Yawm reported that the rioter who killed two journalists during last week’s massive rally in Algiers was arrested.
The accused, a 38-year-old shoemaker, ran over Fadila Najma and Adel Zarrouq during the protest. He told interrogators that that he was trying to save a public transport bus from catching fire when he unintentionally knocked the two down – Albawaba.com
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