Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

NETANYAHU SAYS GAZA OPERATION WILL NOT END QUICKLY

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus : Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"What would you do?"

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

Islamist head calls for rebels to lay down arms

Latest update : 2008-08-20

In the wake of a suicide bombing at an Algerian paramilitary training centre that killed 43 people and injured 45 Tuesday, the founder of Algeria's most prominent Islamist rebel group called on militants to lay down their arms.

 

ALGIERS, Aug 19 - The founder of Algeria's largest Islamist rebel group called on al Qaeda-linked militants to lay down their arms on Tuesday after a bomb killed dozens of people at a military academy.

 

Hassan Hattab, founder of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), surrendered to the authorities last year in response to a government amnesty aimed at drawing a line under years of civil conflict that left around 150,000 people dead.

 

The bloodshed has eased in recent years but a hard core of several hundred GSPC rebels adopted the Al Qaeda name early in 2007 and began a campaign of deadly urban bombings from their stronghold in the mountainous Kabylie region east of Algiers.

 

"I advise you to reconsider and refrain from what you are doing and return to the arms of your society and your families," Hattab was quoted as saying in an appeal to the rebels.

 

"I advise you ... not to hesitate in laying down your weapons," he said in comments published by the Algerian newspaper Ennahar, which specialises in security matters.

 

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber rammed his car into a group of prospective paramilitary gendarmes lining up to get into the school for qualifying exams, witnesses said.

 

The government said 43 people were killed and 45 wounded in what it called a "cowardly" attack.

 

Hattab had already criticised the GSPC in March 2006, calling on its members to accept the amnesty, more than a year before his formal surrender was announced.

 

Security experts say Hattab is still influential in Islamist militant circles.

 

"We have reviewed our course of action sincerely and concluded that it is a dead end with no exit and that it was a Sharia duty to stop fighting," the paper cited Hattab as saying in its Web edition.

 

Algeria plunged into violence in 1992 after the army-backed authorities, fearing an Iran-style revolution, scrapped a parliamentary election that an Islamist party was set to win.

 

The GSPC was founded in 1998 when Hattab broke away from the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in protest at its many massacres of civilians.

 

Hattab was condemned to life in prison in absentia in June 2006 for "killing and membership of a terrorist group".

 

Date created : 2008-08-20

COMMENT(S)