Algeria: France Finally Reveals Its Secrets


October 21, 2007: France has finally given Algeria maps of where three million French mines were planted in the late 1950s. The 1,200 kilometers of mine fields were created to make it more difficult for Algerian rebels (against the French colonial government) moving across the Tunisian and Moroccan borders. Most of those mine fields are in remote areas, and have never been cleared. But each year, those tending herds in the border areas are killed or injured by the mines, as are their animals. The mines in more traveled areas have been removed over the decades. But now, with the maps, the mines in remote areas can be cleared. That will be expensive, as the mines are now covered with more sand, or have shifted position because of rain and wind. The mine maps were never a major issue between the two countries, but France never offered to provide them before either. Now, however, the French army sees an opportunity to improve its relationship with Algeria. Since the 1950s, the French army has been particularly hated by Algerians, because of the rough tactics used during the late 1950s and early 1960s, before France finally left and Algeria became independent. But over the decades, the hatred has died down.

October 18, 2007:For the third time since 2004, Pakistan is sending suspected Algerian Islamic terrorists back to Algeria. Twenty men are going back in a few days. Before that, forty had been sent back. Some were set free, some were arrested on old terrorism charges. Many of those Algerians held in Pakistani jails, have been there since 2001, when Pakistan began its crackdown on Islamic terrorists connected with al Qaeda and the Taliban. Hundreds of Algerian terrorists had fled to Afghanistan in the late 1990s, as the tide turned against terrorists in Algeria.

October 17, 2007: Mauritania arrested seven of their citizens and accused them of belonging to Algerian terrorist groups. The two countries share a border, and Algerian terrorists have been fleeing south over the last few years, as the atmosphere became more hostile for terrorists in the coastal areas of Algeria (where most of the people live.) Meanwhile. Algerian security forces continued searching rural areas east of the capital, where Islamic terrorists are believed to have hideouts. Several dozen suspects have been arrested there in the last week, and several camps and weapons caches found.

October 15, 2007: About 60 kilometers east of the capital, seven soldiers were wounded when their vehicle hit a mine buried under a forest road. The troops are scouring the forested mountains along the coast, seeking terrorist hideouts.

October 14, 2007: About 40 Islamic terrorists attacked army positions 100 kilometers east of the capital, but were repulsed, and fled back into the forests. Elsewhere, three terrorists were killed by police, and more terrorist hiding places and weapons caches were found. West of the capital, 14 terrorist suspects were arrested.




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