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Algerian Presidential Candidate Is Killed

September 18, 1995| From Times Wire Services

ALGIERS — Gunmen killed an independent presidential candidate Sunday in an apparent attempt to undermine elections that leading parties are boycotting.

Algeria's main political parties--including the former ruling party--dismiss the election scheduled for Nov. 16 as an attempt to legitimize the military-controlled government.

Abdelmajid Benhadid--one of 17 presidential candidates--was shot by three "armed terrorists" in Boudouaou, about 18 miles east of Algiers, state radio said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Benhadid, 48, was a former member of the National Liberation Front, which ruled Algeria as a one-party state for nearly three decades.

The regime says it hopes the election in November will end a 3 1/2-year-old civil war, which started in 1992 when it canceled elections that the Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win.

But major parties refuse to participate, and most of those running for president are little-known independents.

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