March 5, 2006 |
The Algerian government freed a first group of Islamic militants Saturday after deciding to pardon or reduce sentences for more than 2,000 people detained during an insurgency in the 1990s. Cries of joy rose from families outside the two prisons on the outskirts of Algiers, the capital, when the prisoners were released. Their exact number was unclear.
May 1, 2003 |
Thirty-one European tourists who vanished in the Sahara Desert are being held hostage by terrorist groups, a ranking Algerian official said Wednesday. The official said the Algerian army had located the tourists. About 5,000 troops and 300 local guides were brought in to track them down. The tourists, who had set off in seven separate groups on four-wheel-drive vehicles or motorcycles, disappeared starting in mid-February. None of the tourists had employed guides.
April 8, 2003 |
Twenty-nine European tourists are missing in the Sahara Desert in Algeria, and officials fear they have been attacked or kidnapped. German and Austrian police have joined the hunt for the vacationers, some of whom have not been heard from since February, officials said Monday.
May 17, 1987 |
In 1785, in what would become the first U.S. hostage crisis, Algerian corsairs seized two American merchant ships off the Barbary Coast and held their crews for a ransom that, after years of secret negotiations, was finally paid by a humiliated President George Washington. Nearly two centuries later, Algeria again was involved in a U.S. hostage crisis, but this time it was as the intermediary that helped negotiate the release of the 52 American hostages in Iran.
December 10, 1998 |
An armed band killed 45 people in a predawn attack Wednesday that was the bloodiest massacre in Algeria in months, security forces said. Separately, authorities said Wednesday that they had pulled 46 bodies from a 180-foot-deep well used as a mass grave in Meftah, 15 miles south of central Algiers. Many more victims remain in the mass grave, which could be up to 2 years old. Security forces blamed Wednesday's massacre in Tadjena, about 125 miles west of Algiers, on Muslim insurgents.
September 9, 2007 |
Al Qaeda's North Africa affiliate claimed responsibility for two suicide attacks that killed at least 57 people in Algeria in the last two days, Al Jazeera television said Saturday. Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, an Islamist group that has pledged loyalty to Osama bin Laden, said in an Internet statement that it was behind Saturday's suicide truck bombing at a coast guard barracks east of Algiers and an attack Thursday in the town of Batna, Al Jazeera reported.
June 23, 1993 |
A noted sociologist was assassinated shortly after being named to replace a colleague killed in a similar attack in March, authorities said. Mohammed Boukhobza, 52, who held a key post at an official think tank, was the sixth major personality assassinated in three months. The killing came a week after the assassination of Mahfoudh Boucebsi, an internationally known psychiatrist whose views, such as his pro-abortion stance, ran counter to taboos in this North African nation.
March 19, 2006 |
At least 150,000 Algerians have died in a 15-year Islamist insurgency, the head of the government human rights body said Saturday, the highest official estimate ever given. The fighting started in 1992 when the army canceled a second round of voting in Algeria's first multiparty legislative elections. The army acted to thwart a likely victory by the now-banned Islamic Salvation Front. Since then, 150,000 to 200,000 have died, Farouk Ksentini said.
May 31, 2002 |
Under the shadow of a massacre, Algerians voted Thursday in parliamentary elections boycotted by opposition parties and ethnic Berbers. Hours before the vote, suspected Islamic guerrillas slaughtered 25 civilians, including 14 children, in the village of Sendjas in Chlef province, about 125 miles west of Algiers, the capital. It was the latest in a series of massacres and bomb attacks in an undeclared civil war that has claimed more than 100,000 lives in the last decade.
November 14, 2001 |
Rescuers sifted through caked mud Tuesday seeking survivors of flooding and mudslides that killed nearly 600 people in the Algerian capital. More rain was forecast. The official death toll stood at 579. Some newspapers in Algiers estimated that the toll could reach 1,000 when devastated areas are searched. More than 300 people remained hospitalized.