Results tagged “Algeria”
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The army has launched its biggest offensive so far this year against al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, arresting a senior commander and several fighters who were planning to execute suicide attacks in Ghardaia. Operations are ongoing in the southern provinces of Bechar, Adrar, Tindouf, Ghardaia, Laghouat and al-Bayadh. Security forces also killed seven armed terrorists, and intercepted others trying to cross over into Mauritania.
After al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) announced its support for unemployed Algerians in the south who have staged recent protests, the National Committee for Protection of the Rights of the Unemployed (CNDDC) issued a statement disavowing any connection with AQIM or other violent groups. The protesters stressed that their movement is peaceful, unlike that of the terrorists.
The Islamist Green Bloc is preparing to select a candidate to run for president in 2014, a plan which could "could stop the harassment and attacks against Algeria." Iraqi authorities are said to be considering the possibility of pardoning Algerian prisoners currently held in Iraq for crimes including terrorism.
Algeria condemned the recent bombing of the Al Iman mosque in Damascus, Syria. Iraq refused Algeria's request to free 11 Algerians held prisoner in Iraq because they are "criminals" involved in terrorism and corruption.
A Tizi Ouzou court sentenced al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb leader Abdelmalek Droukdel and 34 other terrorists in absentia to death for the April 2011 attack on an Algerian military camp in Azazga that killed 14 soldiers. Authorities are concerned about a steep rise in child kidnappings; there were 276 such cases in Algeria in 2012.
High-level Islamist officials linked to the Muslim Brotherhood are meeting this weekend to discuss plans, including possible unification of factions as an educational organization or a political party. The government has permitted a group of moderate imams to form their own union to promote moderate Islam and combat the rise of the Salafist movement; the group has been trying to unionize since 1999. Algeria is now the sixth-largest arms importer in the world.
Security forces dismantled an al Qaeda-linked terrorist cell during an operation in Bordj Badji Mokhtar; seven suspects were detained, including two Malians. The cell was involved in helping jihadists escape from Mali into Algeria. Kamel Kadkadi, the main suspect in the assassination of Chokri Belaid, was extradited to Tunisia after being arrested near the Tunisian border. Security forces killed two terrorists in the Benbadis region near Constantine.
Of the roughly 400 al Qaeda militants said to be active in eastern Algeria's Kabylie region, an estimated 280 are in Bouira, 73 in Boumerdès, and 50 in Tizi Ouzou, the key strongholds of AQIM. Terrorists attacked a Tizi Ouzou City checkpoint on March 3, and killed a soldier in the Yakouren forest on March 4. A Tizi Ouzou court sentenced two terrorists to 20 years in prison for a 2007 attack on a bus station. There were 65 terror attacks in Algeria in 2012, mostly in the provinces of Boumerdès, Tizi Ouzou, Bouira, and Béjaïa.