26 bodies found in Algerian militants' hideout | india | Hindustan Times
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26 bodies found in Algerian militants' hideout

It was unclear exactly how long ago the victims had been killed. The dead were 18 children, three women and five men.

india Updated: May 15, 2006 01:23 IST

Security forces found 26 dead bodies, most of them children, in a secluded cave used as a hideout by an Algerian Islamic militant group, local security officials said on Sunday.

The bodies were discovered yesterday in the Seddat mountains, about 450 kilometres east of the capital, where authorities recently hunted down suspected members of the al-Qaida-linked Salafist Group for Call and Combat, security officials in the region said.

It was unclear exactly how long ago the victims had been killed. The dead were 18 children, three women and five men, officials said. They confirmed a report that appeared in El Chourouk newspaper, which gave a slightly higher death toll, 28.

The North African nation's insurgency has waned in recent years, with far fewer kidnappings and massacres of civilians and security forces.

The insurgency started in 1992, when the army cancelled Algeria's first multiparty legislative elections to thwart a likely victory by a now-banned Muslim fundamentalist party A government human rights official said in March that p to 200,000 Algerias have died in the insurgency.