Wed, Aug 23, 2006 - Page 6 News List

Civilians' bodies used to conceal bomb in Algeria


Attackers killed two civilians near the Algerian capital and injured a police officer after a bomb placed under one of the victims detonated, a published report said on Monday.

The victims were killed with their throats slit on Saturday in the town of Telagh, west of Algiers, daily Liberte reported, citing unidentified security officials. An officer was injured after a bomb tucked under one of the bodies went off as security teams arrived.

There has been an upsurge of violence before next Monday's end to a one-year amnesty that the government has offered to Islamic militants in hopes of ending a bloody, 14-year insurgency in the North African country.

Some 300 have turned themselves in under the amnesty, which was offered to an array of Islamic extremists.

But a handful who belong to the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, known by its French acronym GSPC, have rejected the offer and continued attacks _ often targeting police. In response, police and security squads have launched a crackdown.

The insurgency started in 1992 when the army canceled a second round of voting in Algeria's first democratic elections to stop a likely victory by an Islamist party.

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