Saturday, November 22, 2003

Algeria: leader of Islamist rebel group captured?

A few days ago, Algerian newspapers reported that security forces have arrested Rachid Abou Tourab, head of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA).

But ... (there is a but) ...
But the security forces have neither confirmed nor denied the reports, which are not the first to say that a hardline extremist leader has been captured or even killed in Algeria.

The Press reported in July that Abou Tourab was one of 15 armed Islamic extremists killed during a security forces operation in the Tamezguida forest, known to be a GIA stronghold in the Medea region, south of Algiers. Algerian newspapers had also reported the death of Abou Tourab’s predecessor, Antar Zouabri, several times before he was confirmed killed in a gun battle with security forces in the town of Boufarik, south of Algiers.