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37 Said Dead in Algerian Massacre

September 15, 1998

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) _ The death toll in a massacre at an Algerian village rose to 37, with a newspaper reporting today that the assailants used incendiary bombs, Kalashnikov rifles and knives in the attack.

Citing witnesses, the La Tribune newspaper said the village of Ain Sbaa, about 100 miles southeast of Algiers, was attacked by men who broke down doors and dragged their victims into the streets. The dead included a family of 13.

The attack early Monday came three days after President Liamine Zeroual announced he would step down and call early presidential elections. It was the worst reported massacre in months in Algeria.

The region around Ain Defla reportedly is one of the areas where the anti-government Armed Islamic Group is most active.

Zeroual has been unable to end an Islamic insurgency that erupted in 1992, when the military-backed government canceled parliamentary elections an Islamic party was set to win.

At least 75,000 people have died in violence since then.

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