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Terrorism: Peru and Algeria

1997 News of the World

In Peru, Tupac Amaru rebels took approximately 600 people hostage at the residence of the Japanese ambassador in Lima during a reception on December 17, 1996. President Alberto Fujimoro refused to bargain with the rebels, who demanded the release of jailed comrades. After four months of negotiations and the rebels' gradual release of most of the hostages, Peruvian soldiers stormed the embassy, rescuing all but one of the remaining 70 hostages, and killing all 14 rebels.

In Algeria, the undeclared civil war that has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1992 escalated in its brutality and senselessness. Islamic extremists, who had originally focused their attacks on government officials and then shifted to intellectuals and journalists, most recently abandoned political motivations entirely by targeting defenseless villagers in mass slaughters as savage as they have been random. The government has been markedly ineffectual in stemming the violence, and there is some evidence that the army has looked the other way. Algeria has refused international mediation, and the outside world remains in the dark about much of what occurs within its borders.


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