Press: Five Family Members Killed by Militants in Algeria
Five family members were killed and three others injured in an attack by armed militants in the Chlef region, west of the capital Algiers, local media reported on Sunday.
The victims were watching television when a group of suspected Islamic extremists burst through their doors and shot them at point blank range before turning on other family members in the bedrooms. They then fled the scene, the papers said.
The militants had split into two separate groups on entering the relatively isolated town of Ouled El-Djilali, 200 kilometres (150 miles) west of Algiers.
While one group reassured local residents they were members of the security forces, the others entered the Alem family's home.
The murders have not been confirmed by official sources.
Separately, a member of an armed civil patrol was killed on Saturday in Timizer, in the Jijel region, also west of Algiers, daily Liberte said. The paper said the attack was also carried out by Islamic extremists.
The latest deaths bring to at least 17 the number of people killed in attacks blamed on Islamic militants since the beginning of August, according to an unofficial toll compiled from press reports.
Last Monday Algerian security services said they had found the bodies of four shepherds with their throats cut. The shepherds had been abducted by armed militants the previous day at Ghrous, west of Algiers.
More than 100,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed in Algeria's civil war which broke out in 1992.
The authorities blame the attacks on the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), which operates in the south and west, and the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which is present in the northeastern Berber region of Kabylie and the east.
The two groups are pursuing a bloody campaign for the introduction of an Islamic state in Algeria -- ALGIERS (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)