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Militants Surrender in Algeria

October 26, 1999

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) _ Sixty-five more Islamic militants have turned themselves in to Algerian authorities, hoping to benefit from a peace plan that would grant them amnesty, officials announced Tuesday.

Eight of the insurgents have already been granted amnesty by a probation committee, officials said.

The peace plan, voted into effect in September, calls for an amnesty or reduced jail terms for Islamic insurgents, except those convicted of murder, rape or bombings. Militants must give up their weapons to be considered.

On Oct. 21, the Algerian interior minister reported that 1,130 insurgents had turned themselves in since the plan took effect.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika spearheaded the plan, which aimed to end the violence that has left 100,000 dead since 1992, when the army canceled elections that a now-banned group was poised to win. Islamic militants took up arms to fight the military government that took power.

Fearing more bombings from militants who have rejected the peace plan, authorities in Algiers have warned institutions in the capital to step up security, the Le Matin daily reported. The report could not be officially confirmed.

Officials urged economic, cultural, religious and educational institutions to enact strict day-and-night surveillance, the newspaper reported.

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