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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Algiers, 10 August (AKI) - The Algeria-based Salafite Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which has sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda, has refused to abandon armed guerrilla fighting in exchange for a government amnesty. The announcement was made in a statement posted on the group's website just before the amnesty expires in August. The measure was part of a reconciliation plan approved with a referendum on 29 September last year to finally end years of a civil war in which estimated 200,000 people have died.

In the statement posted on its website, GSPC, the main Islamist militant group in the country, also vowed to increase the number of attacks during the months of June till August.

The amnesty offer gave Islamic militants six months to surrender and receive a pardon provided they were not responsible for massacres, rapes or bombings.

The authorities have freed 2,200 jailed militants under the deal which also provides compensation for victims of the violence.

The civil war broke out in 1992 when authorities cancelled a parliamentary election that radical Islamists were slated to win.
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