32 killed in three attacks in Algeria

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Armed men killed 32 people in three weekend attacks in Algeria, including 17 people whose throats were slit, security forces said Sunday.
No one claimed responsibility for the attacks, but authorities lay the blame for violence wracking Algeria on Islamic insurgents trying to topple the military-backed regime.
A statement by the security forces, read on state-run radio, said armed men slit the throats of 17 people early Sunday near Saida, 275 miles southwest of Algiers. Seven others were wounded in the attack, the radio said.
Some of the victims were members of a self-defense group. Such groups, armed by the government, are prime targets for insurgents, as are their relatives.
Tens of thousands of Algerians belong to self-defense groups, which have taken on an increasingly important role in the defense of rural villages since the start of the insurgency more than six years ago. Authorities encourage villagers to help the security forces, which have been unable to end the violence.
On Saturday, 11 people were victims of a “cowardly attack” in the town of Sidi Ameur, 125 miles southeast of the capital, state-run radio said, reading another statement from security forces.
Another four people in cars were killed Saturday evening at a false roadblock near Berrouaghia, 55 miles south of Algiers, security forces said.
Meanwhile, visiting French lawmaker Jack Lang sent a clear message of support Sunday to the Algerian government, which has been accused of passive — even, at times, active — complicity in massacres, some of which have occurred near army barracks.
Lang, attached to French foreign relations, added that France would be unmerciful to the terrorists.
“For us, they are enemies, killers, assassins and throat slitters,” Lang told a news conference at the end of his two-day visit. “Everything will be done to help Algeria, if they need our help, to finish with terrorism.”