Sunday, August 15, 1999 Published at 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
World: Middle East
Violence flares in Algeria
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in recent years
An armed group has killed 29 people in the Bechar region in the west of Algeria, security forces say.
Security officials blamed Islamic extremists for the killings in the village of Beni Ounif, saying the throats of the victims had been cut.
Hospital sources said the death toll could be as high as 40, but there has been no independent confirmation of that figure.
No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The violence has triggered fears that there could be a return to the regular, large-scale massacres carried out between 1995 to 1997.
Peace deal begets violence
President Bouteflika is seeking to end the bloodshed that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in the last seven years.
The deal was signed by President Boutaflika and the main rebel Islamic Salvation Army, or AIS, in June.
Since then dozens of people have been killed by two radical factions opposed to the agreement.
Under the peace deal the AIS ended its war against the state and agreed to help the government fight other, more extreme rebel groups.
An Islamist insurgency erupted in 1992 after the military authorities cancelled elections that the main Islamist party, the National Islamic Front, was poised to win.