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Algeria attack kills 3 auxiliary cops

29 April 2013, 12:09

Algiers - Three Algerian auxiliary policemen were killed Sunday in what a security official called a "terrorist" attack, a term authorities use to refer to armed Islamists, the APS news agency said.

The three had just quit work in the Tipaza region about 70km west of the capital Algiers and were going home when the attack occurred, the unnamed official told APS, declining to give further details.

Algeria's 90 000-strong auxiliary police force, known as the "communal guards", was set up in 1994 to bolster local police in villages across the country where authorities were locked in a deadly confrontation with Islamist rebel groups.

Violence blamed on armed Islamists has subsided in recent years, but groups with ties to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim) remain active in some areas around Algiers and in the south of the country, and have continued to stage attacks on security forces.

The country experienced its most violent Islamist attack in January, when al-Qaeda-linked extremists seized a desert gas plant in a brazen raid that left 38 hostages dead.

A decade-long conflict in the 1990s between the Algerian military and armed Islamists killed some 200 000 people.



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