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West Sahara Group to Free 243 Moroccan Prisoners

The Polisario Front independence movement in Western Sahara said it was freeing 243 Moroccan prisoners of war held for more than 20 years in southwest Algeria, Algeria’s state news agency reported on Friday. The Algerian-backed Polisario fought a sporadic guerrilla war with Morocco for control of Western Sahara from 1976 until a United Nations-brokered cease-fire in 1991. In a communique carried by the APS agency, Polisario said it had made the decision after the U.N. Security Council adopted a new U.N.-proposed peace deal for the former Spanish colony in the northwest corner of Africa two weeks ago. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar had called for a prisoner release which will now be worked out by the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross, it said. Full Story

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