Russian Woman Killed in Latest Attack on Foreigners
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) _ A Russian woman was fatally shot as she did her morning shopping Sunday. It was the latest attack in a wave of violence aimed at foreigners.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. But a militant Muslim organization, the Armed Islamic Group, threatened last month to begin killing foreigners who stayed in Algeria after Nov. 30.
Larissa Ayadi, who was married to an Algerian and had lived here for several years, was shot twice in the head and chest by a pistol equipped with a silencer, according to witnesses and the Russian Embassy. She was attacked while shopping in Diar el-Afia, a southern suburb of Algiers.
Ms. Ayadi died at the same military hospital where Agnello Castaldo, a 43- year-old Italian businessman, was being treated after being shot in the face outside his home in another nearby suburb Saturday.
Hospital officials said Castaldo’s injuries were not life-threatening.
Later Sunday, a bus normally used to transport Russian military advisers was attacked by at least one man with a machine gun in Reghaia, 22 miles east of Algiers, the Russian Embassy said.
The driver of the bus, which had no passengers, was slightly injured, an embassy official said.
The Armed Islamic Group, which claimed responsibility for the week-long kidnappings of three French diplomats in November, is among the more violent of the armed groups that seek to replace the military-backed junta with an Islamic government.
The military canceled parliamentary elections that Muslim fundamentalists were winning two years ago, ordered a state of emergency and banned the fundamentalists’ party. Hundreds of suspected fundamentalists have been arrested.
Muslim radicals have widened their targets from security forces and politicians to intellectuals and foreigners. Many expatriates, particularly women and children, have left Algeria.
On Thursday, a Spanish businessman was killed about 60 miles south of Algiers. He was the eighth foreigner killed here since Sept. 23.
In response to the violence, France plans to relocate French schools in Algeria to locations that are easier to protect, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Sunday.
But he said that the government did not advocate a total exodus of French citizens from Algeria, a former French colony.
″France should be present″ in Algeria, Juppe said on the French radio network RTL. ″What is happening in Algeria today does not mean that we should give in to panic and shrink back to our home ground.″
Algeria was a French colony from 1848 to independence in 1962.