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Algerian forces kill 10 Islamic rebels after siege

Written by: Staff
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ALGIERS, May 10 (Reuters) Algerian troops stormed an Islamic rebel hideout today and killed 10 guerrillas, the largest number shot dead by government forces since the country began an amnesty to end violence, state news agency APS said.

Soldiers had besieged the rebels for a month in the rugged mountains of the Seddat area in Jijel province, some 230 km (140 miles) east of Algiers, before they took the hideout.

APS did not say which rebel group the guerrillas belonged to, but Algerian newspapers have said they were from the al Qaeda-linked Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

Algeria began implementing an amnesty in March as part of efforts to put an end to violence that broke out when authorities scrapped legislative elections in 1992 that a now-banned Islamic party was poised to win.

An estimated 200,000 people have been killed since then and authorities say 17,000 rebels were among the dead and some 800 rebels are still active.

REUTERS PDS PM0121

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