Suspected Muslim fundamentalists clad in military uniforms slit the throat of a young Algerian cabaret singer and kidnapped six people from a discotheque where she was performing, the press reported Sunday.
The singer known as Sihem, 24, was thrown to the ground by two of the attackers who on Friday stormed the nightclub at Berrahal, where she worked in the evenings of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, witnesses said.
They cut her throat with a sword.
A score of aggressors wearing the uniforms of the army, police and customs officers took part in the attack, in which 13 clients were badly beaten up or injured when they jumped from the second-floor windows of the discotheque.
Survivors told the dailies El Watan and Libert that six people were abducted. Generally, the bodies of people kidnapped in such incidents in Algeria are later found, atrociously mutilated.
Islamic extremists waging a civil war against the secular authorities since 1992 are blamed for killing several singers, whose art supposedly undermines the faith of believers and turns their minds from their duty in the eyes of God.
Security forces on Saturday reported the attack on the Berrahal disco near the eastern coastal city of Annaba, but simply spoke of the "cowardly" murder of one person and the wounding of two others by a "terrorist group" which attacked a cafe.
The statement was the first official one in months on the security situation in Algeria, apart from acknowledgement of the massacre of 15 teenage boarding school pupils and their monitor in a dormitory a week earlier, during a series of savage attacks.
The private press regularly reports violence blamed mainly on two hardline fundamentalist movements which rejected a conditional amnesty offered for six months from July last year by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in a bid to start a process of national reconciliation.
After a particularly bloody month of Ramadan, considered auspicious for the "jihad" or holy war, journalists fear that the authorities may once again start censoring independent press reports of bloodletting.
More than 100,000 people have died in the insurgency since fundamentalists took up arms after the army intervened in January 1992 to call off the second round of general elections the now-outlawed Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win -- ALGIERS (AFP)
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