Violence Kills 38 in Algeria
Aug. 20, 2000
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) _ Clashes between Algerian security forces and alleged militants have left 38 people dead in the past several days, local media reported Sunday.
The latest deaths come as the army continues its crackdown on Islamic militants who have refused President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's offer of partial amnesty. The offer was open to insurgents who were not guilty of rape, murder or bombings and who handed in their weapons.
Despite Bouteflika's efforts to bring reconciliation to the North African nation, violence continues on a nearly daily basis. About 100,000 people have been killed since an Islamic insurgency broke out in 1992, when the army canceled elections that a now-banned Islamic party was poised to win.
Security forces launched an offensive Friday near Ain Defla, about 75 miles west of Algiers. Four community guards and 23 alleged armed militants died in the fighting, Le Matin daily said. It said combat helicopters circled the mountainous region and dropped rockets.
Also Friday in nearby El-Main, attackers ambushed security agents who were searching for militants, killing six community guards and wounding a seventh, Liberte daily said.
In Amedjoudh, east of Algiers, two soldiers and a community guard were killed Friday in an ambush, La Tribune newspaper reported. Near Ain Bessem, also east of the capital, two alleged Islamic militants were killed and three others were arrested Thursday during an army search operation, Liberte said.
On Saturday, Algerian media reported that a series of attacks Thursday near Bouira, 75 miles east of the capital, left three people dead and two wounded.