Algerian ex-PM killed in ambush

ALGIERS - Muslim fundamentalists shot dead the former Algerian prime minister Kasdi Merbah and two members of his family in an ambush of their car outside Algiers, the official APS news agency said yesterday. The first Algerian opposition leader to be assassinated in a campaign of violence against the state, Merbah was killed near his home in the coastal resort of Bordj el- Bahri at the weekend.

A former military security chief under Algeria's former Socialist leader Houari Boumedienne, he was the only member of the opposition to have publicly urged Muslim militants to lay down their weapons. Merbah's son and brother were also killed in the attack, as were their driver and a bodyguard.

APS blamed the killing on 'terrorists', the official term for Islamic fundamentalists who stepped up a campaign of violence in early 1992 after the government scrapped a general election that the now-banned Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win. Merbah was prime minister from late 1988 to 1989 and had served as minister of heavy industry, agriculture and health.

The head of the opposition Algerian Movement for Justice and Development, he published an open letter on 13 July urging Muslim militants to lay down their weapons.

The attack was not the first on an Algerian opposition leader. El-Hashemi Sherif, head of the anti-Islamist Etta Haddi party, was slightly hurt in an attack on his car in April. Etta Haddi is the new name for the former Algerian Communist party.

At least 86 civilians, 78 security-force members and 426 Muslim militant gunmen have been killed in the unrest since the start of 1993.

CAIRO - Egyptian authorities released some 20 people held for questioning and made no significant progress in their search for surviving members of the militant group that nearly killed the Interior Minister, Hassan al- Alfi, last week, Reuter reports.

Five days after the bomb attack on Mr Alfi's motorcade, police were still groping for fresh clues. They said it was still unclear how many militants took part in the attack or whether the bombs were set off by remote control, a timer or a fuse set by attackers on the scene. No suspects had been arrested, police said yesterday.

The most important clues have come from identifying two of the attackers who were killed in the explosion. Police said the two dead militants belonged to al-Jihad (Holy Struggle), which assassinated president Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions