RealNews

A Healing Torturous as War

Intimate and vicious, Algeria’s civil conflict has wound down amid a policy of pardon. But the trauma remains, and it seems unending. If you come here to the snug towns scattered like seed around the base of the vast green mountains, you will hear wild tales. They speak of babies burned to death in ovens and women who went blind from crying. They tell of a man who wore a butcher’s plastic apron and drove around hacking people to death in his truck. They tell of bodies abandoned in ditches, of the time guerrillas swept down from the mountains, kidnapped 70 of the prettiest girls and bore them off to servitude and rape in the wilderness. They tell of thousands of men who went missing in broad daylight and were never heard from again. This is the folklore of a civil war, a conflict so intimate and murky that its history remains shrouded. For more than a decade, the farmers and shopkeepers of these quiet villages not far from Algiers were trapped in a dirty war between Islamist guerrillas and the Algerian military. More than 150,000 people are believed to have died in the conflict, and to this day the killing hasn’t stopped, despite a cease-fire. Full Story

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