A family of eight, including a pregnant woman and six children, were killed in western Algeria on Monday night -- the latest in a string of brutal murders by Islamic militants during the holy month of Ramadan, the press reported.
The eight had their throats cut by a group who stormed their home in a village near Khemis Miliana, 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Algiers, newspapers said.
The same group was blamed for gunning down five people in Khemis Miliana an hour earlier.
Meanwhle, the death toll in a wave of civilian massacres over the weekend rose to more than 60 in an upsurge of violence that has dealt a severe blow to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid for national reconciliation.
Three people among the seven wounded when an armed group opened fire on their bus in Tenes on Sunday have since died, bringing the number killed to 18.
A 26-year-old man also had his throat cut the same evening in Legata.
Three massacres took place at the weekend within 24 hours, including the slaughter on Saturday night of 16 schoolchildren and a teacher while they were asleep in a dormitory in Medea.
More than 240 people have been killed since the holy month of Ramadan began on November 27 in a series of attacks which have been largely blamed on the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and a rival band run by Hassan Hattab.
At least 100,000 people have died since the militants took up arms in 1992 after the army called off the second round of elections which the Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win -- ALGIERS (AFP)
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