Politician Killed, Radical Faction Reportedly Offers Truce Conditions
Jan. 15, 1995
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) _ An Algerian politician was killed Sunday as a radical Islamic faction reportedly urged the government to accept conditions set by opposition parties for ending the three-year civil war.
Falah Nour, 65, was killed near his home south of the capital by suspected Islamic extremists, security forces said.
Nour was a member of a council that replaced an elected parliament after the army canceled elections three years ago, triggering the Islamic insurgency that has left at least 15,000 people dead.
Meanwhile, an Armed Islamic Group communique received in Paris by the Agence France-Press news agency urged the military-backed government to accept the conditions for a negotiated end to the war that were reached in Rome last week.
The authenticity of the undated communique could not be immediately confirmed. It was signed by Abou Abderrahmane Amine, thought to be the current chief of the group. But some communiques from the group have in the past been proved false.
The Armed Islamic group added three of its own conditions to those set in Rome by the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front, the Front for Socialist Forces and the National Liberation Front.
While the conditions would require major concessions from the government, the communique, if authentic, marks a change in policy by the Armed Islamic Group, which has in the past refused all negotiations or an end to violence.
The group has claimed responsibility for most of the killings of foreigners and Algerian journalists as well as the Christmas Eve hijacking of an Air France jetliner in which three passengers were killed.
An exiled Salvation Front leader said he was trying to confirm the authenticity of the communique.
``If the GIA (Armed Islamic Group) accepts the (Rome) platform, it leaves only the authorities'' who have not,'' Rabah Kebir said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press in Paris.
The communique called for the immediate and unconditional release from jail of two Armed Islamic Group members, the banning of all communist and atheist parties, and the ``application of the law of God'' against generals who rule Algeria from the shadows. The communique did not state whether the group wanted generals to go before an Islamic tribunal.
The Rome offer seeks seven steps before talks are opened, including freeing jailed Salvation Front leaders and political detainees and a lifting of a state of emergency in place for three years.
The government, which denounced the Rome meeting in advance, has said it is willing to negotiate but only with groups that renounce violence.