Algerian rebels murder children

A FRESH wave of violence in Algeria at the weekend left 17 people dead, including many children, in the town of Ouzra, about 75 miles south of Algiers.

Described as the worst incident since President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was elected in April, it came just weeks before a promised referendum aiming to establish peace and end the Islamic insurgency that has killed up to 100,000 people in the past seven years. Muslim rebels reportedly stormed an isolated house and slashed the throats of 14 children at a party to mark a boy's circumcision on Friday night, local residents said.

The five rebels, wearing army uniforms, also bombed a nearby building, seriously wounding five other people, then fled from near Ouzra in Medea province. "The terrorists slaughtered all the children inside the house," said one resident.

The children were attending a traditional party on the occasion of the Muslim circumcision of one of them. They could not give the exact ages of the children, but said most of them were under 10.

It was not clear if the five wounded in the bomb blastwere related to the dead children."The two places of this crime are isolated," another resident said.

Medea province is a stronghold of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), Algeria's most radical faction, which has fought for more than seven years of conflict to topple the largely secular government.

"Security forces, accompanied by civilian relief services, rushed to the scene to provide necessary assistance to victims of this criminal act," the Algerian security forces said in a statement carried by the official APS news agency.

The authorities blame recurring violence on Islamic insurgents, who have been fighting to topple the government since 1992.

It was in that year that the military-backed authorities cancelled elections that the main Islamist party, the National Islamic Front, was poised to win.

The latest wave of massacres comes after President Bouteflika called a national referendum for September 16 on a peace blueprint aimed at ending the Islamic insurgency.

Since his election in April, the President has taken steps to end the conflict, including an official acknowledgment that it has involved the deaths of 100,000 people. The Medea region is considered to be the stronghold of Armed Islamic Group, Algeria's most radical fundamentalist faction, which has been fighting for more than seven years to bring down the government.

GIA leader Antar Zouabrihas repeatedly rejected President Bouteflika's policies and the GIA has taken credit for many massacres since the Islamic insurgency began.

In next month's poll Algerians will be asked: "Do you agree with the general approach taken by the President to bring about peace and civil reconciliation?"

An overwhelming Yes vote would provide a welcome boost to President Bouteflika after his legitimacy was undermined in the presidential elections when his opponents withdrew alleging fraud.

Last week, Algerian security forces said Islamist militants had killed 29 people in the western Bechar region.

Algerian newspapers reported at the weekend that Islamic militants had massacred seven people, mostly civilians, last Thursday in two separate attacks.

Suggested Topics
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Project Manager (infrastructure, upgrades, rollouts)

£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments