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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Algerian Massacre Claims 43

ALGIERS, Algeria -- Suspected Islamic militants killed 43 bus passengers, most of them young people, when they threw up a road block west of Algiers, witnesses said Monday.

All victims had their throats cut in the attack overnight Sunday near Sig, 300 kilometers west of Algiers.

Fifteen other people were reported severely wounded and were taken to hospital in Oran.

Some of the dead were decapitated, witnesses said.

The killers intercepted the two buses at around midnight as they were travelling from Algiers to Zouia, a town near Tlemcen, close to the Moroccan border.

They also intercepted an ambulance that was returning from Oran after taking a patient there. A nurse and a midwife had their throats cut, but the driver managed to escape. No official statement on the killing was available from the Algerian authorities.

It was the biggest single killing of civilians in the Oran region since the outbreak of the Islamic insurgency in 1992.

Traditionally more easy-going, the region has been spared the worst of the violence up to now. An attack in Kharrouba, not far from Oran, some 10 days ago claimed 14 lives, according to the press.

Earlier reports said that suspected Moslem extremists massacred 26 civilians Monday at Haouche Souidani in the Mitidja farming plain south of Algiers, where they had their throats slit and their bodies burned.