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15 die in Algerian violence
02/05/2004 19:48  - (SA)  

Algiers, Algeria - Suspected Islamic militants killed seven Algerian security officers and six civilians in weekend violence around this North African nation, newspapers reported on Sunday.

Two militants were also killed in a clash with soldiers on Friday near Larba, south of the capital, Algiers, Al Watan daily reported.

This North African nation is fighting an Islamic insurgency that started in 1992 after the army canceled national elections to thwart a likely victory by Muslim fundamentalists.

The violence has killed an estimated 120 000 people.

In the hills above the capital Algiers, two policemen were killed while on-duty Saturday night by armed attackers who took the officers guns before fleeing, several papers reported.

Two soldiers were killed and four wounded as they drove through the Chrea forest, 120 kilometres east of Algiers, and a bomb exploded under their car, Sunday newspapers reported.

Meanwhile, three community guards were killed in an ambush near Medea, 45 kilometres south of Algiers. One guard was kidnapped in the attack.

In the same area, four civilians were killed in attacks by Islamic extremists Friday, Algerian radio stations reported Sunday without giving details.

Separately, two hunters were killed by an armed group in the Relizane region, 300 kilometres west of Algiers, the Arab-language daily Al Chaab reported.

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