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Monday, 15 October, 2001, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Killings in Algeria ambush
Eleven village guards were killed and one injured when they were ambushed by Islamic extremists, while fetching water in Algeria's north-eastern Tebessa region, according to local newspaper reports.

The attack took place on Sunday near the village of Bir El-Aterin, about 630 km (390 miles) east of the capital Algiers, near the Tunisian border, the reports said.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
President Bouteflika's offer of an amnesty was rejected
According to the newspapers the local militia men had gone to gather water when they were set upon by about 20 armed members of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Salvation (GSPC), one of two radical groups which have waged a civil war in Algeria since 1992.

The newspapers also reported that on Saturday night two shepherds had their throats slashed and another was kidnapped in the Lalla Aouda forest in the Tiaret region, about 340 km (212 miles) west of Algiers - although this has not been verified.

Ongoing violence

"Corroborating sources confirmed that the 12 municipal guards were trapped at a water source, which they use for their supply needs, by some 20 terrorists in military uniforms. The victims were taken by surprise and, therefore, were unable to respond to the terrorist attack," one report said.

The number of people killed in Algeria's ongoing violence since the beginning of October is now placed at about 40, according to the newspaper reports.

Shortly after taking office in 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika offered the insurgents a conditional amnesty, but the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and the GSPC refused any dealings with the authorities and are pursuing their campaigns of violence.


algerian timeline puffobx
See also:

07 Jul 01 | Middle East
Algeria violence kills 16
05 Jul 01 | Middle East
Algeria shuts out Berber protesters
24 Sep 00 | Middle East
Algeria violence returns after lull
13 Jan 00 | Middle East
Analysis: An unstable peace
12 Jul 00 | Middle East
Algerian anti-rebel drive failing
20 Jul 00 | Country profiles
Country profile: Algeria
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