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75 DIE IN FOUR ATTACKS NEAR ALGIERS

Armed men massacred 31 people, including 13 children, just south of Algiers, the bloodiest of four attacks that left 75 people dead, according to reports Saturday.

The attackers, believed to be Islamic insurgents, used explosives to blow out doors of homes Friday in Laarba, 22 miles south of the capital, residents told the Associated Press.

Many victims' throats were slit, 17 people were hurt and the attackers kidnapped two women, the residents said, on condition of anonymity.

Security forces have recently carried out a cleanup operation in Laarba, part of an area where the radical Armed Islamic Group has long operated with impunity.

Brutal massacres have become the trademark of the Islamic insurgency as it enters its sixth year in January. The Armed Islamic Group has claimed responsibility for some of the massacres.

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