Militants massacre 29 in Algeria
Algeria, Military, 7/28/1997
Islamic militants killed 29 people in two hamlets in Algeria, slitting their throats or burning them alive, survivors said.
The attacks occurred on July 27 in villages west Algiers, they said. Most of victims were women and children.
Word of the latest massacre came as its most radical Muslim fundamentalist rebel group denied reports that its leader had been killed in an army operation earlier this week.
Informed sources had said on July 27 that Antar Zouabri, head of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), was killed 48 hours earlier along with several of his lieutenants in army operation centered around Hattaba, west of Algiers. But a statement claiming to come from the GIA said Zouabri was still alive. "The allegations about the armed operations at Hattaba and the death of Zouabri are pure invention. He is alive," it said.
It denied reports that government forces had inflicted heavy losses, saying they had only shelled the region and that instead it was "our Mujahdeen brothers who inflicted losses on the apostates and took prisoners."
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