Wednesday, December 9, 1998 Published at 16:31 GMT
World: Middle East
Upsurge of violence in Algeria
Guarding: Seven people died in the town of Merad last weekend
Authorities in Algeria say 42 people have been killed in overnight violence in the Chlef region in western Algeria.
A member of parliament intervened in a televised parliamentary debate to report the attack.
Interior Minister Mostefa Bensamour has also visited the scene.
The deaths bring the number of people killed in Algeria in the past 10 days to more than 100.
Correspondents say recent killings have raised fears that the forthcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan - which this year begins in less than two weeks in Algeria - will be particularly bloody.
Some commentators say the armed Islamic fundamentalists blamed for the killings consider the holy month as appropriate for jihad, the holy war.
During the last Ramadan, in January this year, almost 1,500 people were murdered, many of them in massacres near Algiers and in the Ouarsenis region in the west of the country.