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Algerian Forces Kill 39 In Raids

The assassins of a prominent women’s rights advocate have been killed by security forces in raids on suspected Islamic extremists, security officials said Saturday.

In all, 39 suspected extremists were killed in 17 raids between Wednesday and Friday, the security forces said.

There was no indication of how many of those killed were suspected of involvement in Wednesday’s assassination of Nabila Djahnine, an architect and feminist leader in the Berber region of Kabylie.

An independent newspaper, Liberte, reported Saturday that a municipal council president had been killed Thursday in the Kabylie town of Draa Ben Khedda.

At least 12 people - ranging from a journalist to a popular singer - were assassinated in Algeria over the last week. No one has claimed responsibility for the killings.

But authorities blame Islamic extremists for most of the slayings of journalists, artists, intellectuals and foreigners during a three-year insurgency.

An estimated 30,000 people have died since the start of the rebellion, triggered by the army’s decision to cancel national elections to stop fundamentalists from winning the vote.

The Armed Islamic Group and the Islamic Salvation Army - the armed wing of the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front, a popular fundamentalist organization - called on their followers to increase subversive acts during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started Feb. 1.

Tags: terrorism