President Liamine Zeroual on Saturday renewed his government's determination to wipe out the Islamic insurgency that has left an estimated 75,000 people dead in the past six years.
Zeroual's comments in Medea, 60 miles south of Algiers, came shortly before security forces announced that attackers had slit the throats of seven people in local suburb."The destruction and loss of human life cannot undermine our determination to eradicate this blight that is foreign to our society and our religion," Zeroual said.
The security forces said the attack occurred Friday, the latest violence in a region hit especially hard by the insurgency. Muslim militants have been blamed for killing thousands of people with knives, swords, axes and guns in the Medea area.
Medea's city hall, court house and about 20 other government offices were badly damaged in a series of 1995 attacks. Those attacks and dozens of massacres nearby sparked an exodus of people from the region.
Speaking at a bridge that was sabotaged in 1995, Zeroual expressed what he called the government's "will to work for the recovery and the reconstruction of the local authorities."
"Algeria stays standing, and we are ready for all the sacrifices (needed) to take our country out of this crisis," he said.
The insurgency began in 1992 after the army canceled legislative elections Islamic fundamentalist parties were poised to win.