Algeria govt. takes hard line on extremists

Jan 18, 2013- The Algerian government has taken a strong stance against Islamist extremists, and is not hesitant to use military force.

The two sides were locked in a civil war that lasted from 1992 though 2002.

The war began one year after Islamic political forces won a landslide victory in the country's first democratic parliamentary election, contested by multiple parties.

The military carried out a coup on the grounds it was protecting the republic's political system and nullified the election.

The 10-years of war saw terrorist bombings involving civilians and cruel human rights violations. 200,000 people are said to have been killed.

The current Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika was elected to office for the first time in 1999 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2009.

Bouteflika has called on militant groups to abandon their weapons and take part in nation-building efforts. At the same time, he has pursued national stability with a crack down on extremists.

The president's policy has gained wide public support, encouraging the government to take a strong posture on those who resort to acts of terror.