Press: 23 Killed in Algerian Violence
Twenty three people, including Islamic extremists and policemen, were killed in the past 48 hours in separate attacks in a new wave of violence in Algeria, said local press.
El-Khabar newspaper reported that 15 Islamic extremists were killed by the army on Saturday in Mu’askar state, south of the capital Algiers.
The army surrounded members of the “Rahman Brigades,” and bombarded their camp, killing 15 of them, said the paper.
In another attack, the paper said that Islamic extremists on Friday killed eight policemen, and injured four others in clashes that took place in Seedi Abbas state, 200 kilometers north of the capital.
Algeria has been gripped by insurgency since early 1992, when the army prevented the now-outlawed Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) from taking power by calling off the second round of general elections the fundamentalist party was poised to win.
Violence since has claimed more than 100,000 mainly civilian lives.
The armed wing of the FIS, the Islamic Salvation Army (AIS), benefitted from a blanket amnesty under an ambitious "civil reconciliation" initiative launched by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since April 1999.
Two hardline armed groups, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), rejected Bouteflika's offer of amnesty, and have continued attacks against military and civilian targets
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