3,700 women murdered


Algeria: More than 3,700 women have been killed in Algerian attacks, including massacres of villagers, in the past six years, an Algerian newspaper said yesterday. La Nouvelle Republique said the women died in Muslim rebel attacks and 500 others had been kidnapped. The paper said another 300 women had been raped by rebels in the course of attacks on villages. It gave no source for its figures nor did it indicate whether the 500 kidnapped women were abused or were still missing.

Many of the women who have been kidnapped and raped have subsequently been found dead with their throats cut.

Others who have managed to escape have been found to be pregnant. Algerian religious authorities are considering issuing a fatwa (religious decree) which would allow these women, many of them just schoolgirls, to have abortions.

Islamist rebels massacred six children and four women west of Algiers on Sunday.