Algeria. Clashes between Berber activists and security
forces erupted in mid-April after a gendarme in the Kabylia
province in northeastern Algeria shot dead a young Berber
who had been arrested for theft. According to
Countryaah, the shooting resulted in
the gathering of 100,000 Berber in protest demonstrations,
which the police violently dissolved. At least 60 people
were killed in various rattles. On October 4, the government
reversed its historic record and recognized the language of
the Berbers as one of the country's official languages. The
government also announced that the police involved would be
brought to justice. The victims and their relatives were
The clashes between Islamist militia groups and
government troops also continued during the year, as did the
attacks against civilians. For example, at a wedding party
near Algiers in late September, 22 people were killed. The
attackers were believed to be militant Islamists, possibly
from the GIA (Groupe Islamique Army, 'Armed Islamic Group').
On May 28, 21 independent newspapers filed their editions
in protest against the tightening of the penal code, which
meant higher fines and longer prison sentences for the
responsible publisher of articles that offended the
president. Following the terrorist attacks in the United
States on September 11, the Algerian government gave the
United States full support in the fight against terrorism.
Algeria was also reported to have given the United States a
list of 350 Algerian militant Islamists in exile who were
said to have links to terrorist suspect Usama bin Laden.
Algeria and Russia signed an agreement on military
cooperation at the end of May for the next ten years.
At least 730 people were killed when Algeria suffered
severe flooding in mid-November. The floods were made worse
by the fact that the authorities had replenished many
stormwater wells so that terrorists could not hide in the
city's sewerage system.