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Italy Arrests Four Algerians as Terrorism Suspects

Authorities in Italy say they have arrested four Algerians suspected of planning terrorist activities in Iraq and Algeria.

Interior Minister Giuliano Amato said Friday the men are believed to be part of an organization called Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat. The Islamic extremist group is one of Algeria's largest rebel organizations.

The group has refused an amnesty offer by Algeria's government aimed at ending 14 years of violence in the country. Some 200,000 people have died since 1992, when authorities canceled a parliamentary election that radical Islamists were poised to win.

Algeria's peace offer has been in effect since February and is due to expire soon. It gives Islamic guerrillas in Algeria six months to surrender and receive a pardon, provided they were not responsible for massacres, rapes or bombings of public places.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.