Press: Nine Civilians Killed in Latest Algeria Violence
Nine civilians were killed and 13 others were injured in two days of violence this week by suspected Islamic extremists, newspaper reports said Saturday.
Five people were killed Thursday overnight near Khemis Miliana, 120 kilometers (72 miles) west of Algiers, after armed militants dressed in police uniforms began shooting a group of people drinking alcohol in a clandestine bar, Le Matin and Liberte newspapers reported.
In another incident, a 13-year-old girl was killed Friday when a bomb exploded in Abou El-Hassene in the region of Chlef, 125 kilometers west of the capital, Liberte said.
In Ain Arwa, near Setif, some 300 kilometers east of Algiers, a 23-year-old man was murdered after being kidnapped by suspected militants, according to Le Matin.
The paper also said that a teenager, aged 14, disappeared and was found dead Friday, his head crushed, in Hacaiba, near Sidi Bel Abbes, 440 kilometers west of the capital.
In other violence, a civilian was killed after being taken hostage by an armed group in Sig, in Mascara, some 360 kilometers west of Algiers, the Quotidien Oran said.
Meanwhile, six soldiers were injured when a bomb went off Wednesday on a road between Telagh et Dhaia, near Sidi Bel Abbes, Le Matin reported.
Four communal guards, members of civil militia groups, and a civilian were injured Wednesday overnight in a clash with an armed group in Ain El-Hamra near Bordj Mnael, 70 kilometers east of Algiers, Liberte said.
An estimated 20 armed Islamic militants are believed to have been killed in a recent crackdown against suspects in Dellys, some 90 kilometers east of the capital, the newspapers said.
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's efforts to end years of brutal religious violence appeared to be in shatters in the wake of the surge in civilian-targeted massacres.
Despite Bouteflika's ambitious "civil reconciliation" program, at least 200 people a month, have been reported killed in Algeria since a six-month amnesty for Islamic rebels expired on January 13th - ALGIERS (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)