Minister says Algeria will arm civilians to fight terror

Government resumes policy from Islamist insurgency in 1990s that left up to 200,000 people dead

By Associated Press
Published November 3, 2010 7:48PM (EDT)

The interior minister has reportedly said that Algeria will resume a policy of arming people to reinforce the fight against terrorism in the north African country.

Dahou Ould Kablia says the government would honor a request of some civilians in insecure areas for weapons "to fight against terrorism."

He didn't specify which people would be armed and said the defense ministry was behind the decision. Algerian media on Wednesday published the comments made Tuesday.

Al-Qaida's offshoot in North Africa has its roots and has carried out killings in Algeria.

The government had a policy of arming civilians during the Islamist insurgency that left up to 200,000 people dead in Algeria in the 1990s. It was later halted under amnesty deals.

Associated Press

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