Exiled leader Madani buried in Algiers

In this file photo taken on September 14, 2004 Exiled Algerian Islamist leader Abassi Madani talks to journalists in the Qatari capital Doha. (AFP)
Updated 28 April 2019
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Exiled leader Madani buried in Algiers

  • For Algerians, Madani remained most associated with the bloodletting during the civil war that pitted the security forces against sometimes feuding armed groups

ALGIERS: Abassi Madani, founder of Algeria’s banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), was buried in the capital Algiers on Saturday days after his death in Qatar where he lived in exile, a security source said.
Madani had called for armed struggle in 1992 after Algeria’s military scrapped the country’s first multi-party parliamentary election which the FIS had won, and pushed for the creation of an Islamic state in the North African nation.
“Abassi Madani will be buried today on Saturday in the El-Alia cemetery,” in an eastern suburb of the capital near the airport, a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, A source close to the family said Madani’s body would arrive from Doha at around 11:25 GMT and would be taken to his home in the central Belcourt neighborhood of Algiers before the burial.
Senior FIS figure El-Hachemi Sahnouni said Madani could be buried either at the El-Alia cemetery or the Sidi Mohamed cemetery close to his home.
He died in a Doha hospital on Wednesday from a “long illness” at the age of 88, FIS co-founder Ali Belhadj said.
The FIS had been on track to win an absolute majority in the 1991-92 parliamentary election when the army canceled the second round, triggering a decade of civil war that left 200,000 dead, according to official figures.
Madani had been living in Qatar since 2003. He had fled into exile after serving a 12-year prison sentence in Algeria on charges predating the election.
For Algerians, Madani remained most associated with the bloodletting during the civil war that pitted the security forces against sometimes feuding armed groups.
He was imprisoned in 1991 and only called for an end to the violence in 1999, when his group said it was laying down its arms.


Turkey sends weapons to opposition fighters in Syria

Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters get a major boost as Ankara backs them with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them hold their ground. (Reuters)
Updated 15 min 4 sec ago
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Turkey sends weapons to opposition fighters in Syria

  • Ankara signals readiness to preserve its influence in Syria’s Idlib province in northwestern region

AMMAN: Turkey has equipped an array of mainstream Syrian opposition fighters it backs with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them try to repel a major Russian-backed assault, senior opposition officials and opposition sources said on Saturday.
Russia is backing the Syrian army’s large aerial and ground assault as it seeks to gain control of the last big stretch of opposition-held territory in the northwest of the country.
Syria’s Bashar Assad launched the assault last month, saying fighters had breached an existing cease-fire, triggering a civilian exodus by bombarding Idlib and adjacent areas. It has been the biggest escalation since last summer between Assad and the opposition fighters in Idlib province and a belt of territory around it.
Ankara stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group that it should end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey, two senior opposition figures said.

FASTFACT

Ankara stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group that it should end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey.

In doing so Turkey signaled its readiness to preserve its influence in northwestern Syria, where it has beefed up its troop presence in a dozen military bases that were set up under a de-escalation deal with Russia, a senior opposition commander said. Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment.
Overnight, a Turkish military convoy arrived in a base in northern Hama near opposition-held Jabal Al-Zawiya, where Russian and Syrian jets have been pounding for weeks, a fighter and a witness said.
The delivery of dozens of armored vehicles, Grad rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles helped roll back some army gains and retake the strategically located town of Kfar Nabouda.