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AIS : L'armée islamique du salut,
le bras armé du FIS (front islamique du salut) .
Separatist Abu Hamzeh announces responsibility for killing singer Matoub Lounes
Algeria - France, Military, 7/1/1998
Hassan Hattab known as Abu Hamzeh who is also a separatist from the "Armed Islamic Group" in Algeria has announced responsibility for killing renowned Berber singer Matoub Lounes.
This was expressed in a statement circulated in London bearing the signature of the prince of the "second region, Abu Hamzeh, Hassan Hattab," whose group is very active in al-Kabeyle district.
On Tuesday for the fifth successive day demonstrations continued in Tezi Ozo, the capital of al-Kabeyle area in protest over the killing of Lounes, but the Algerian police prevented by means of force another demonstration from being carried out in the capital Algiers.
Tens of persons tried to stage a demonstration starting from "May 1 Square" in response to a call advocated by the Socialist Forces Front party, led by Hussein Ayat Ahmad. The Algerian police said that demonstration was unlicensed and dispersed the demonstrators using sticks, although no injuries were reported.
In Tizi Ozo thousands of Amazigh people demonstrated at the request of the coalition party for culture and democracy. Local journalists estimated that the number of demonstrators was in the tens of thousands.
In Paris, MENA quoted French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine as describing the assassination of Lounes as against democracy and pluralism. He added that his country will grant more entry visas to Algerians but does not intend to reopen its four consulates in Algeria, which were closed for security reasons in 1993.