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


Associated Press
November 3, 2010 11:48PM (UTC)

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."

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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.

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