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Algeria Says It Will ‘Resolve Its Problems’ Nations Told Not To Interfere After 54 More Die In Massacres

Tue., Oct. 7, 1997, midnight

Massacres of hundreds of people in recent weeks - including 54 reported dead Monday - have prompted outcries from around the world, but Algeria is warning other nations not to interfere.

“Any attempt at interference is unacceptable,” Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf said at a news conference Monday. “Algeria has institutions capable of resolving its problems.”

An estimated 75,000 people have been killed since 1992 in an Islamic insurgency triggered when the army canceled legislative elections that the now-banned Islamic Salvation Front party was close to winning.

More than 50 people were killed in three attacks that occurred over the weekend but were reported Monday, the latest in a spate of grisly massacres that has drawn the world’s attention to the 6-year-old conflict.

Still, Attaf’s remarks appeared to signal a new tactic by Algerian authorities in dealing with the subject: Discussing the violence in a public forum has, until now, been taboo.

Attaf spoke a day before President Liamine Zeroual was to leave on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, his second Mideast trip in less than a month.

Attaf called the massacres “barbarity without precedent in the history of humanity.” He said security forces are learning to “confront this new form of barbarity,” but did not elaborate.

Hospital sources and witnesses said Monday that 54 people - 48 adults and six children - were killed in attacks Saturday in three villages.

Tags: unrest

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