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Saturday, 23 November, 2002, 21:55 GMT
Soldiers killed in Algeria ambush
The Algerian authorities say suspected Islamic rebels have killed nine soldiers in a gun and bomb attack in the troubled Kabylia area.

Twelve other soldiers were injured in the ambush on Saturday in the forest of Tigrine, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) north-east of the Berber city of Tizi Ouzou, the official APS news agency said.

Algerian police
Algeria has been ravaged by 10 years of violence
It was the bloodiest attack on troops in Algeria since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on 6 November.

Earlier, nine civilians were killed in two separate attacks blamed on Islamic rebels, Reuters news agency reported.

The latest attack happened as the soldiers were heading towards their base in the forest, APS said.

Rebels set off a roadside bomb then sprayed the troops with gunfire, before fleeing into Bounaama forest.

Bloody conflict

Algeria has been ravaged by violence since 1992, when the authorities cancelled a parliamentary election which Islamists were poised to win.

At least 40 people have been killed in fighting since the start of Ramadan, when guerrillas traditionally step up their attacks.

Last week, 13 people, including four policemen, were killed and six soldiers were wounded by suspected Islamic rebels.

Altogether, up to 150,000 people have died since the violence began.

See also:

16 Aug 02 | Africa
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