Interpol reviews African security

Sept. 11, 2013 at 8:56 AM
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ALGIERS, Algeria, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Eliminating the threat from terrorists means inhibiting their ability to recruit, the president of Interpol said at a regional conference in Algeria.

Algeria hosted the 22nd annual regional African conference for the international police force. More than 170 law enforcement officials from 44 countries are attending the three-day event, which began Monday.

Interpol President Mireille Ballestrazzi called on countries to expand access to the force's global databases and secure police communications system to help address security challenges. Africa, she said, already has a long history of working to combat threats from terrorism and transnational crime.

"Destroying the threat posed by terrorist groups means targeting their ability to function ... and to recruit," she said in a statement Tuesday.

Algerian Maj. Gen. Abdelghani Hamel, director of national security, said working through Interpol would enhance regional security efforts.

Militants aligned with al-Qaida stormed a natural gas facility in Algeria in January. At least 39 hostages and 29 militants were killed when Algerian special forces raided the site in attempt to free hostages.

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