Algerian Islamic extremists kill ten in ambush

_16305_algeria-violence-24-4-2006.jpgBus carrying communal guard members ambushed by Algerian Islamic extremists near near El-Kassa.
ALGIERS – Ten people, nine of them members of a local security force, were killed in Algeria Sunday in an ambush by Islamic extremists, several independent newspapers reported.  

According to the reports Monday, the communal guard members were riding on a bus, unarmed and in civilian clothing, when it was ambushed by about 20 assailants on a road near El-Kassa, in the Skikda region some 500 kilometers (300 miles) east of Algiers.


The gunmen exploded a handmade device on the road in front of the vehicle, then mounted and opened fire on the passengers, killing the guards and one civilian, according to the reports.


The newspapers laid blame for the attack on the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), and said Algerian security forces were scouring the area for the killers.


Police launched a major search operation in the area between Skikda and Jijel, 360 kilometers east of Algiers, to try to find the armed group responsible.


The GSPC has rejected a reconciliation charter initiated by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, which offers to pardon armed Islamists who have not committed blood crimes and are still underground, and gives early release or pardons to those previously convicted.


Under the charter, several thousand Islamic extremists have already been released.


The charter, adopted in a referendum last September, also provides for compensation for “victims of terrorism”, families of terrorists and of those arrested by the security services and not seen again.


In spite of its implementation violence has continued and the state of emergency, in force since February 1992, has not been lifted.


On April 7, 13 customs officials died when their convoy was attacked about 600 kilometers south of Algiers.


Since the start of this month, according to official statistics and media reports, at least 45 people have been killed and since the start of the year about 100 have died.


Violence between government forces and armed Islamists has caused more than 150,000 deaths since 1992.

Check Also

Iran, Pakistan look to the future

Cultural and religious affinities have linked Iran and Pakistan as to neighbors. Politically, the two …