Algerian Islamist leader buried in homeland after death in exile

Abassi Madani, founder of Algeria’s banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), was buried on Saturday in Algiers in front of thousands of supporters after his death in Qatar where he had long lived in exile.

Madani’s body was carried from his family home to Ennadi mosque, where believers recited the Islamic funeral prayer, ahead of his transportation to a cemetery.

“Abassi Madani may God bless him, is a symbol of the Algerian revolution against French colonialism and also the symbol against the deviation that took place after the independence,” said one of the mourners, Said Kabou.

“God bless Abassi Madani. We ask the regime to leave, leave us alone. France stay away. We have had enough of you, forget about us. Let us live our life,” Kabou added.

According to Melouk Mourner, An Algerian, the military is the traitors. They are the ones who hold power and military dictatorship must fall.

“They are the cause of the country’s problems since 1962. The mujahideen are false, the sons of martyrs are false. It is them (the military) who prevent the righteous. They are the ones who distort the true story, the story of Abassi, God bless him,” he added.

Madani had been living in Qatar since 2003 and had fled into exile after serving a 12-year prison sentence in Algeria for charges that predated the election.

For many Algerians, Madani remained most associated with the bloodletting during the civil war that pitted the security forces against sometimes feuding Islamist armed groups.

He was imprisoned in 1991 and only called for an end to the violence in 1999, when his group said it was laying down its arms.

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