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Assassination of Mohamed Boudiaf

Boudiaf was killed by one of his own bodyguards, Lambarek Boumaarafi, presented officially as an Islamic fundamentalist, and a sympathiser of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), who acted alone. He was assassinated in Annaba while addressing a public meeting on June 29, 1992, which was later broadcast by the national TV.

He received 3 bullets, two in the head and one in his back.[1] He was president for only five months, after his return from exile in Morocco to rule over the HCE (High Council of State) that emerged as a constitutional alternative to the Islamic State declared by the FIS after winning 1991 first democratic elections in the country since its independence in 1962. His mission was to crush the FIS, stop the civil war and restore order.[2]

Boudiaf was one of the few lasting Algerian war veterans still alive at the time. After Krim Belkacem, assassinated in Frankfurt 1970, and Mohamed Khider assassinated in Madrid in 1967, and Mohammed Seddik Benyahia the foreign minister assassinated on the Iran–Iraq border when working on a walk out from the First Gulf War.

War against corruption

A month before his assassination he ordered the arrest of General Mostafa Beloucif,[3] charged in front of the Blida tribunal of misusing public funds. Khaled Nezzar was also dismissed from his post of Defence Minister for the same reasons. Boudiaf also ordered the arrest of a Tamanrasset businessman involved in drugs and weapons traffic across the Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa, but the colonel charged with the investigation was assassinated just a week before Boudiaf.[1]

The attack

The attack began with a grenade explosion on one side of the podium from where Boudiaf was giving his speech, which attracted the attention of Boudiaf and his bodyguards while another grenade was thrown under his chair. The two blasts were followed by a gunman dressed in the uniform of the elite police intervention unit who emerged from behind Boudiaf, and emptied his sub-machine gun into the President's back. The gunman and at least 40 other people were killed or injured in the attack. Among the wounded were the Minister of Industry and a top provincial official.[4]

International circumstances

Boudiaf's assassination coincided with the Algerian state-owned oil company Sonatrach's launch in London of a first onshore leasing round in which it sought participation by foreign oil companies in opening up new production facilities in Algeria. Oil prices rose on immediate fears that the killing of Boudiaf might trigger unrest that could hit production, but they fell back later in the day. Sources believe there may be a short-term disruption of exports from Algeria, but the country will have to sell oil eventually.

Iran and other members of fundamentalist Muslim governments praised the killing of the Algerian leader, while the United States, the Organization of African Unity, France and other western nations condemned it. French leaders in particular voiced fears of civil war or a full military takeover of the former French colony.

The attack on Boudiaf was the Arab world's most dramatic political killing since Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists in 1981.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ a b New light is thrown on Boudiaf's murder: The fundamentalists may not be behind the president's death, writes Robert Fisk in Algiers [1]
  2. ^ Operation Boudiaf
  3. ^ Confidences du général-major Beloucif
  4. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  5. ^ CTC International Group Limited
  6. ^ Principal Dates and Time Line of History of Algeria 1945-1957

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