Militants' peace terms

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Paris (Reuter) - Algeria's militant Armed Islamic Group (GIA) said yesterday it was prepared to end its war against the government if Algiers accepted a plan for a settlement drafted by main opposition groups.

"In order to safeguard the interests of the nation and avoid more wars, the [GIA] . . . is ready to stop the war in the event the authorities accept the demands expressed in the document drafted by the united opposition parties in Rome," the group said in a statement.

It also demanded the release of detained GIA leaders Abdelhak Layada and Ahmed al Oud, punishment for the generals who have fought the fundamentalists and a ban on atheist and Communist political parties.

The GIA has claimed responsibility for killing dozens of foreigners since September 1993 and for the hijacking of an Air France jet in Algiers on Christmas Eve.

The joint proposal, aimed at restoring democracy, was signed in Rome on Friday by Algeria's eight main opposition groups, including the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front (FIS).