With the presidential elections approaching on April 9th, there has been a sharp increase in terrorist violence, with nearly 40 dead in the last two weeks. The few hundred Islamic radicals still fighting the government, are trying to maintain themselves in the thinly populated, hilly forests along the coast, east of the capital. There, they attempt to terrorize the local civilians into silence, and extort material support and information about what the security forces are up to. So far, the Islamic terrorists have been unable to do much beyond make an occasional attack in the remote eastern part of the country.
March 24, 2009: East of the capital, Islamic terrorists attacked a police station, killing one policeman before being driven off. In another attack nearby, a policeman was killed.
March 20, 2009: Police and soldiers responding to recent attacks in the east, found and killed seven terrorists.
March 16, 2009: Two roadside bombs killed two soldiers a hundred kilometers east of the capital. Another bomb killed two civilians 540 kilometers southeast of the capital.
March 15, 2009: Last month, mine clearing efforts destroyed 8,000 French mines planted on the Moroccan and Tunisian borders. Last year, France provided the maps of where mines were planted after World War II (as part of the campaign to defeat anti-colonial forces). So far, 372,000 mines have been removed from remote areas along the border.
March 14, 2009: On the Tunisian border, Islamic terrorists killed a shepherd and several hundred sheep. Two bombs then killed three members of the shepherds family. Elsewhere in the area, a policeman was killed by a terrorist attack.
March 13, 2009: Two Islamic terrorists were killed in the eastern mountains.