Algeria said its security forces have killed the top leadership
Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call.
Algerian officials said military units killed Salafist commander Nabil
Sahrawi and his lieutenants. Officials said the Salafist leadership was
killed in a clash with the military in the Kabylie region east of Algiers.
An Algerian military statement said on Sunday that Sahrawi and at least
three of his leading aides were killed in the battle, Middle East Newsline reported. The statement,
announced on state radio, identified one of the lieutenants as Abi Abdul
Aziz. Known as "the paratrooper," Abdul Aziz had been regarded as the next
leader of the Salafists.
The statement described Sahrawi, 38, as one of North Africa's
most-wanted terrorist leaders. The military said the Salafist Brigade was
linked to Al Qaida.
"Units of the [Algerian] People's National Army, engaged in a huge
anti-terrorist operation, have killed a number of criminals, including Nabil
Sahrawi, alias Mustapha Abu Ibrahim, chief of the terrorist group known as
the Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call, as well as his main aides," the
military statement said.
In a statement read on state radio and television, the military said the
attack on the Salafist leadership took place near the mountain village of El
Kseur in eastern Kabylie about 260 kilometers east of Algiers. The military
had been conducting a search-and-destroy operation in the area since early
The military said the operation has "completely neutralized" the
Salafist leadership. The statement said Algerian forces also seized
ammunition, documents and weapons.
In 2003, Sahrawi succeeded Hassan Hattab as leader of the Salafist
Brigade. Sahrawi was said to have increased Salafist cooperation with Al
Islamic sources familiar with the Salafists said Sahrawi was expected to
be succeeded by Abdul Hamid Saadawi, known as Abu Haithem. The sources said
the strength of the Salafist Brigade has dropped to about 500 over the last