ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) _ In one of the deadliest attacks since Islamic militants began an insurgency two years ago, a governor and 18 people in his entourage were killed in an ambush, a newspaper said today.

Security sources had reported Tuesday's attack, but not how many died.

The attack killed the governor of Tissemsilt, Mohamed Bellal, and 18 others with him, including about 15 policemen, El Watan newspaper said. The assailants fled in the convoy's cars, the newspaper said.

Bellal was the first governor to be assassinated during the insurgency. Some 3,000 people - security forces, civilians and Islamic fighters - have been killed in the guerrilla-style warfare.

The convoy, on an inspection tour of a town in the Tissemsilt region, was ambushed at a sharp bend in the road by about 20 gunmen perched on a cliff, the newspaper said.

Tissemsilt is 175 miles southwest of Algiers, near an area where three foreign workers were killed in October after a faction of the Islamic movement said they would begin targeting foreigners. Twenty-four expatrites have been killed since late September.

The army staged a coup two years ago that robbed fundamentalists of a victory in parliamentary elections.