- Algeria’s Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhnou has said the country will beef up security ahead of the April presidential elections, Algerie press service has reported.
The Minister who addressed the press after a graduation ceremony of police and public order officers said there are a number of planned measures to reinforce security devices to ensure peace and stability before and after elections.
"We must guarantee, in particular, security in the polling stations, of candidates and voters," he told APS, further saying for reinforcements which are expected to be set countrywide, more focus would be placed on the most sensitive zones being the capital Algiers.
April elections have been marred by both international and local opposition criticism after the endorsement of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as an independent presidential candidate for the 9 April elections.
The 71-year-old president, who has ruled the country since 1999, last November pushed for the law that abolishes presidential term limits with the view to tighten his grip on power.
His leadership has overseen a return to relative peace, though there has been a series of suicide bombings over the last two years blamed on militants linked to al-Qaeda.
Meanwhile, the Algerian army has killed seven Islamist militants during a raid on a secret base in the mountains near the Algerian capital, a security official said.
The official said the army was led to the militant camp by members of a terrorist support network arrested last Friday in Blida, some 80 kilometers south of Algeria’s capital Algiers.
Local militants known as al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa have waged a series of bombings in Algeria, that has threaten the country stability.
Analysts said the militancy could lead to the 1990’s undeclared civil war between Algeria's secular-leaning government forces and Islamists, which killed more than 150, 000 people and displaced thousands.
Minister Zerhouni has announced that the Algerian security forces had killed 120 Islamist militants over the past six months and arrested 322.
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