Thirteen Dead, Three Injured in Latest Violence in Algiers
Thirteen people have been killed and three injured in attacks around Algiers, blamed on armed Islamists, according to sources in the region.
Seven people were killed and two injured by a group of armed men in the village of Bougara south of the capital in an attack overnight Friday, the sources said.
Three armed men in military fatigues attacked a house in the village, strafing it with automatic arms fire. Two women and three children were said to be among the victims.
The group looted and burnt the place before fleeing, the sources added.
Meanwhile on a main road south of the capital, armed rebels slit the throats of five people, including a two-year-old girl, who had stopped at a fake road block, residents said.
Another man, part of an armed civilian corps, was killed in Meftah.
There has recently been an increase in armed violence in Algeria.
Already this month, at least 70 people, including 20 armed Islamists, have been killed in violence throughout the country.
The reports of the latest violence coincided with a visit to Algiers by South African President Thabo Mbeki and a high-level government and business team.
The South Africans arrived on Friday for a three-day trip aimed at boosting economic ties between the two countries, which have long enjoyed excellent relations but currently cooperate primarily in the military sector.
Savage attacks on civilians have persisted since the start of the year when a six-month amnesty President Abdelaziz Bouteflika extended to fundamentalists willing to lay down their arms expired. Hundreds of those at war with the secular state did so, but hardline groups refused.
A Muslim fundamentalist insurrection began after the January 1992 cancellation of general elections the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was bound to win. It escalated into a civil war that claimed at least 100,000 lives.
In the past 18 months, more normal life resumed in many affected parts of the country, but security measures are still strongly implemented and remote highland districts in particular remain very dangerous – ALGIERS (AFP)
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