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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 18:54 GMT
'Top Islamist killed' in Algeria
Algeria map
The Algerian army has killed a man believed to be the treasurer of al-Qaeda in North Africa, the official APS news agency says.

Abdelhamid Sadaoui, also known as Abou el Haythem, was killed near Tizi Ouzou, the capital of the province of Kabylia, the report said.

The north-eastern province is known as a hotbed of Islamist activity.

Sadaoui was a former leader of Algeria's Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), press reports said.

After the clash, the army seized two Kalachnikov rifles, two handguns, 19 mobile telephones, a laptop computer and fake administrative documents, APS said.

Kabylia unrest

On 5 October, the founder of the GSPC, Hassan Hattab,surrendered to the authorities.

He said the GSPC, which is now called al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, wanted to turn Algeria into "a second Iraq".

The movement's alleged deputy leader, Zobeir Harkat, was killed along with two other militants on 9 October, during clashes with the army in Kabylia.

The GSPC grew out of another of Algeria's leading militant groups, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA).

The GIA took up arms in 1992 after elections were cancelled in which Islamists were poised to win.

Some 150,000 people died in a brutal civil war which followed.

SEE ALSO
Algerian PM defiant after bombs
12 Apr 07 |  Africa
Country profile: Algeria
06 May 03 |  Country profiles

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