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Monday, January 12, 1998 Published at 13:17 GMT

World: Monitoring

Algerian media report more killings

Algerian radio on Monday carried reports of a fresh massacre at the weekend, in the village of Sidi Hammad, near the capital Algiers. They came just a few hours after Algerian TV viewers had seen eyewitness reactions from survivors of a previous attack. The following are the latest accounts of the violence, as reported by Algerian sources:

Algerian radio reports official death toll of 103 in Sidi Hammad massacre

Text of report by Algerian radio on 12th January

A statement by the security services today said that, during the night of 11th-12th January, a terrorist group killed 103 people and wounded 70 others, 10 of them seriously, in Sidi Hammad, Blida Province.

The statement said that the terrorist act began with the explosion of a home-made bomb inside a cafe in the area which killed many customers and wounded others.

The statement added that the civil protection services went to the scene to provide first aid to the victims of this heinous act. It also noted that Interior Minister Mostefa Benmansour went to the scene.

Source: Algerian radio, Algiers, in Arabic 1100 gmt 12 Jan 98

Algeria: Newspapers report at least 50 killed in village near Algiers

Excerpts from report by Algerian radio on 12th January

Today, the front pages of newspapers speak of another carnage committed yesterday between Meftah and Larbaa [near Algiers].

The death toll estimated by our colleagues is not yet precise. This massacre, which took place at the end of the fasting day of Ramadan, left at least 50 people dead, according to `Le Matin' ...

`Liberte' mentioned this massacre in Sidi Hammad village and said that dozens of families were decimated.

The newspapers also said that parliamentary deputies had questioned the government on the massacres.

Source: Algerian radio, Algiers, in French 0645 gmt 12 Jan 98

Algeria: Locals describe earlier killings

Excerpts from report by Algerian TV on 11th January

Yesterday evening [Saturday] before the call to prayers, at 1700 exactly [local time] , the village of [Ouled] Lakhal in the municipality of Bordj Okhriss, Bouira Province [south-east of Algiers], witnessed painful and sad moments.

A terrorist group came from around the region and killed 11 simple citizens who had done nothing to be blamed for, except, maybe, that they were simple Algerian farmers.

One victim was a child of three years, whose father tried to save him from death during the attack, but he did not succeed.

He was hit by a bullet which resulted in the child falling from his father's back to the ground. Then, a terrorist struck him repeatedly with a dagger.

The child is now in a hospital, while another child, aged seven years ... has died.

[Unidentified locals] This act is not accepted by God or man. We are not upset just by the indiscriminate killings. We are more upset by the utter contempt demonstrated.

Please tell me how they will face their God tomorrow, after carrying out such acts.

A one week-old baby on his mother's back was slaughtered, together with his mother, with a knife. My younger brother was also knifed. This is savage. [End recording]

The interior minister, Mostefa Benmansour, accompanied by the director-general of national security and thousands of citizens, administrators and security officers called on the victims' families.

Those we have spoken to were unanimous about the savagery of the act and said any pretexts used by the terrorists were unconvincing and could not justify such action.

Source: Algerian TV, Algiers, in Arabic 1900 gmt 11 Jan 98

Algeria: Interior minister attends funeral of massacre victims

Excerpt from report by Algerian radio on 11th January

The bodies of the 11 victims were buried today in Bordj Okhriss. The funeral was attended by the minister of interior and local authorities, Mostefa Benmansour ...

Source: Algerian radio, Algiers, in Arabic 1830 gmt 11 Jan 98

BBC Monitoring (, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.  

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