Algeria PM squashes amnesty for militants proposal

AP News
Posted: Sep 30, 2011 1:56 PM
Algeria PM squashes amnesty for militants proposal

Algeria's prime minister has denied the possibility of any amnesty for militants in a snub to those calling for greater political reconciliation.

Ahmed Ouyahia denied on Friday media reports of the amnesty in "the most solemn manner in the world," calling the militants "terrorists."

The head of Algeria's human rights commission, Farouk Ksentini, supported the amnesty to promote reconciliation.

Algeria was plunged into civil war after a military coup in 1992 stopped an Islamist party from winning elections. Some 200,000 died in the ensuing fighting. An amnesty would allow former leaders of that party to participate in politics again.

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Ouyahia is seen as close to the hardline generals dominating Algeria's politics from behind the scenes.