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Text of report on interview of Madani Mezrag, former Salvation Army chief, by Hamid Yassine; published by privately-owned Algerian newspaper El-Khabar website on 5 August
[Yassine] As a former leader of an armed group, do you believe that the series of suicide bombings are a sign of strength of the terrorist groups?
[Mezrag] What I am sure of is that the regime in power can put an end to the security crisis, if it wants. As for the armed group, we should realize that even if five individuals only remained in the mountains, bent on inflicting damage to the Algerian State, well, they would be able to do it whenever and wherever they want. In fact, there is nothing easier than to place a bomb in a street, destroy an electric transformer or even blow up a police station.
Regrettably, people make comments on events but do not look for their causes. What is happening now is the result of a series of events known to everybody, which started on 5 October 1988. Besides, the authorities know that the people had refused to continue living in a class society where double standards are in use. I do believe that if the authorities had allowed the FIS, the dissolved Islamic Salvation Front, to take power while keeping it under control, then, within a few years, the people would have lost their vehemence …