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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

4 Russians Murdered in Algeria

ALGIERS, Algeria - Four Russian nationals were found murdered in a forest in eastern Algeria, in the first killings of foreigners in Algeria in four years, security forces said Monday.

The four men, who worked as engineers for a steel manufacturing plant, had entered the massive forest of Edough, 600 kilometers east of Algiers, to go mushroom picking on Sunday.

The men were found with their throats slit after the Russian Consulate alerted authorities on Monday that the men were missing, said a statement from security forces.

Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem met with the Russian ambassador to Algeria to express the government's "firm condemnation of this hideous act," according to a communique released by Algeria's official news agency, APS.

"The Algerian government will spare no effort to bring those guilty before justice for their criminal act," the communique quoted the Algerian minister as saying.

Islamic militants intensified a murderous campaign during the holy month of Ramadan, leaving more than 250 people killed during the holiday season last month.

Foreigners have been victims of the violence in this North African country, but not since October 1996.

More than 100,000 people have died in the insurgency that broke out in Algeria in 1992, after the military canceled elections that a now-banned fundamentalist party was poised to win.