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Militants hit Algerian army post, killing 13

| Sunday, April 17, 2011

ALGIERS, Algeria — Islamist extremists attacked an army post and killed at least 13 soldiers watching the Algerian president's televised speech promising reforms, security officials said Saturday.

Two militants in the group were killed by soldiers at the post in Kabyle, about 80 miles east of Algiers, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the press.

Yesterday, security forces swept areas including the Yakourene forest, a hideout of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, in a search for other suspects, the officials said.

It was the deadliest attack on security forces since July 2009, when at least 14 soldiers were reported killed in an ambush on a military convoy in Damous, near the northern coastal city of Tipaza.

In other Mideast developments:

Syria: Bowing to pressure from a popular uprising, Syria's president promised to end nearly 50 years of emergency rule next week but coupled his concession with a stern warning — that further unrest will be considered sabotage.

Egypt: A court ordered the dissolution of Egypt's former ruling party, meeting a major demand of the protesters who want to ensure that the party that monopolized the country's politics and government for decades is definitively broken after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.

Yemen: The nation's anti-government movement took up the issue of women's rights in the conservative Muslim nation, as thousands of demonstrators seeking the president's ouster denounced his comments against the participation of women in protest rallies.

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