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Algeria to deploy 1,000 officers to protect tourism sites

David Harris of The Media Line ( for eTurboNews  Jun 23, 2008

In order to protect the country’s tourism beaches and to increase road safety, a new police unit is being established in Algeria, local media is quoting Algerian Public Security Chief Commander Muhammad Hamiti as saying.

Hamiti said the plan would be implemented in order to secure important security hubs and tourist destinations. While pointing out that the country’s beaches have never been attacked, the security services recognize the threat posed by armed Islamist groups, which reject women wearing bathing suits in public.

Since the early 1990s, the Algerian government has been battling several Islamist groups based in the country, some made up of locals and others set up by military veterans from Afghanistan. However, in the last couple of years there has been a lull in the violence as some local terrorists have taken a stance against the methods being used by the foreign radicals.

Despite the fact that Algeria has an extensive coastline, it lags far behind in tourism development in comparison to its neighbors, Tunisia and Morocco, which are well-established tourist destinations for Western travelers.

It was not until 1990 that the government decided to embrace tourism as a good source of foreign capital and deregulated the market by allowing non-state-owned hotels and decentralized the national tourism company. This gave the industry a much-needed push and the country is now working hard to catch up with its competitors.

Algeria to deploy 1,000 officers to protect tourism sites
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