Algerian rebels murder children
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.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Darren Vann: Indiana man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear more
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...
£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...
£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...