Children slaughtered in Algerian attacks


Algiers - The killings of nearly 40 people over the weekend has brought to 200 the death toll in the holy month of Ramadan and reminded Algerians that an end to nine years of Islamist insurgency is nowhere in sight. On Saturday night, rebels wearing military uniforms burst into a boys' dormitory in a boarding school and opened fire on teenage pupils, killing 15 of them and a teacher, according to hospital staff.

Guerrillas fighting for the creation of an Islamic state traditionally see the fasting month of Ramadan as the sacred period for their jihad.

Since Ramadan began three weeks ago about 200 rebels, government troops and civilians have been killed, according to media reports. Last year, about 100 died during the same period.

El Watan newspaper said a group of "terrorists" machine-gunned a bus carrying civilians, killing 15 and wounding several others, at a fake roadblock on Sunday night near the city of Tenes, 125 miles west of Algiers.

In another attack one hour later, five civilians, including three women, were shot dead by rebels in the small city of Khemis Miliana, 75 miles west of Algiers.