Twenty-nine people have been killed in ongoing violence between Algerian security forces and Muslim militants fighting the secular regime and targeting civilians, press reports said in Algiers Saturday.
They said 26 of the dead were Islamic activists and three were civilians.
Twenty-five armed activists were killed during an operation launched by the army on Tuesday in the western regions of Chlef and Ain Defla, according to the daily El Khabar newspaper.
Special army units supervised by senior officers were involved in the operation, the report said.
Another Muslim activist was killed on Wednesday in an ambush by the security forces at Meftah, 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Algiers, the daily d'Oran newspaper said.
Three civilians, meanwhile, were killed on Wednesday in an attack by armed fundamentalists in the mountainous Kabylie region near Medea, some 80 kilometers south of the capital, the newspaper said.
Insurgency by fundamentalist groups has claimed at least 100,000 lives since they took up arms in 1992 after the army called off the second round of elections the Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in July 1999 offered a six-month amnesty on specific conditions to armed groups, which led hundreds of fighters to turn themselves in. He has ordered the security forces to crack down mercilessly on those who failed to take up the offer – ALGIERS (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)