Region | Algeria

13 customs agents killed as convoy attacked in Algerian desert

Suspected Algerian Islamist militants shouting "God is Greatest" killed 13 customs agents in the north African oil producer's southern desert on Friday, a customs official said.

  • Reuters
  • Published: 00:00 April 9, 2006
  • Gulf News

Algiers: Suspected Algerian Islamist militants shouting "God is Greatest" killed 13 customs agents in the north African oil producer's southern desert on Friday, a customs official said.

The official, who declined to be identified, confirmed media reports yesterday that said the 13 were killed, and 10 wounded, in an ambush on a party of customs officials travelling in a convoy of all terrain vehicles 200km from the country's biggest oil producing town of Hassi Messaoud.

One agent was also reported missing after the ambush in the southern province of Ghardaia, some 700km southeast of the capital Algiers, state radio said.

Those killed included senior customs officials including the regional director of the national customs service, Abdul Karim Khebouza.

Independent newspaper Al Watan said the assailants were chanting "God is Greatest" during the attack on the agents who were heading for the oil area of Ouargla to attend a seminar. The attackers escaped with the customs agents' weapons.

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