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Algeria, a gateway between Africa and Europe, has been battered by violence over the past half-century.
The Sahara desert covers more than four-fifths of the land. Oil and gas reserves were discovered here in the 1950s, but most Algerians live along the northern coast. The country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe and energy exports are the backbone of the economy.
In the 1990s Algerian politics was dominated by the struggle involving the military and Islamist militants. In 1992 a general election won by an Islamist party was annulled, heralding a bloody civil war in which more than 150,000 people were slaughtered.
An amnesty in 1999 led many rebels to lay down their arms. Violence has largely abated, although a state of emergency remains in place.
In 2001 the government agreed to a series of demands by the minority Berbers in the kabylie, including official recognition of their language, after months of unrest involving Berber youths demanding greater cultural and political recognition.
Algeria under President Bouteflika has won praise from the West for backing the US-led "war on terror". At home, many credit him with the return of security. But some campaigners say abuses by the security forces go on and rights group Amnesty International says allegations about the torture of detainees continue to be reported.
Mr Bouteflika says he wants to tackle Algeria's economic ills, including high unemployment and a dependency on energy exports.
A veteran of the war for independence from France, Mr Bouteflika was Algeria's foreign minister for 16 years until 1979. He went into self-imposed exile for several years in the 1980s to escape corruption charges that were later dropped.
The real Power in Algeria is concentrated in the hands of the algerian's army with presidency and parliament considered as a rubber-stamping bodys.
3981 days ago par
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HUNDREDS of police swooped on a busy street to shut down a notorious "one-stop shop" for crime.
They sealed off a stretch of the road in an unprecedented blanket raid. They believe at least 19 cafÃ©s and other businesses owned by algerians mafia in Blackstock Road the one they call "little algiers" at Fansbury park on the borders of the London boroughs of Islington, Haringey and Hackney, are being used by criminals. Months of surveillance revealed evidence of drug dealing, money laundering, the sale of stolen goods and a thriving trade in fake documents. One national telephone company said 40 per cent of all stolen handsets go on to be used in the area.
The move, involving some 600 officers, was the second phase in a day of raids targeting loosely-connected criminal networks.
A further 500 officers led co-ordinated dawn raids at 37 addresses across London earlier yesterday. They made 35 arrests, including 21 individuals who had been identified as key players in the illegal industry.
Police said many of those held were of Algerian origin.
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4225 days ago par
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Algerie 2008-08-19: 43 morts dans un attentat terroriste Ã Issers.
ALGER (Reuters) - Un attentat Ã la bombe a fait 43 morts et 38 blessÃ©s Ã l'est d'Alger,
annonce le ministÃ¨re algÃ©rien de l'IntÃ©rieur.
L'explosion a visÃ© une Ã©cole de la gendarmerie nationale des Issers, Ã 55 km de la capitale
algÃ©rienne, prÃ©cise un communiquÃ© du ministÃ¨re relayÃ© par l'agence officielle APS.
L'attaque, qui est l'une des plus meurtriÃ¨res sur le sol algÃ©rien au cours des derniÃ¨res annÃ©es,
n'a pas Ã©tÃ© revendiquÃ©e dans l'immÃ©diat.
Des tÃ©moins ont rapportÃ© qu'un kamikaze avait projetÃ© son vÃ©hicule sur un groupe de
candidats au recrutement qui patientaient devant le bÃ¢timent.
"La plupart des morts sont de jeunes hommes Ã¢gÃ©s de 18 Ã 20 ans. Ils faisaient la queue
pour entrer dans l'Ã©cole et passer un examen d'entrÃ©e lorsqu'ils ont Ã©tÃ© fauchÃ©s par l'explosion",
a dit un tÃ©moin oculaire joint au tÃ©lÃ©phone. "L'explosion du vÃ©hicule a partiellement dÃ©truit le
mur de l'Ã©cole et laissÃ© un immense cratÃ¨re dans le sol Ã environ trois mÃ¨tres de l'entrÃ©e
principale", a-t-il ajoutÃ©.
L'agence APS a pour sa part rapportÃ© que le souffle de l'explosion avait causÃ© des dÃ©gÃ¢ts aux
faÃ§ades de plusieurs habitations environnantes. Plusieurs vÃ©hicules qui circulaient Ã proximitÃ©,
dont un autocar public, ont Ã©tÃ© endommagÃ©s, prÃ©cise APS, et plusieurs passagers de l'autocar
font partie des blessÃ©s.
La presse algÃ©rienne a par ailleurs rapportÃ© mardi que des rebelles liÃ©s Ã Al QaÃ¯da au Maghreb
islamique (AQMI, ex-GSPC) avaient tuÃ© dimanche huit policiers, trois soldats et un civil dans
deux embuscades dans la province orientale de Skikda.
4109 days ago par
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