ALGIERS - Two prominent Algerian Islamists called on the president on Wednesday to release up to 7,000 Islamists from prison, a move they said would draw a line under a conflict that killed an estimated 200,000 people.
A letter asking for the prisoners' release was sent to President
Abdelaziz Bouteflika by Sheikh Abdelfateh Zeraoui, a well-known Salafist
preacher, and Sheikh Hachemi Sahnouni, one of the founders of the
banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS).
Most of the thousands jailed during Algeria's nearly two-decade conflict between Islamist insurgents and government forces were freed under an amnesty but a hard core did not qualify for release.