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14 Algerian soldiers die in attack

ALGIERS, Algeria, April 16 (UPI) -- An attack by militants on an army outpost in Azazga left 14 Algerian soldiers dead and a dozen wounded, security sources told Ennahar Online.

People living near where the 2-hour battle took place Friday night east of Algiers, told Ennahar at least one insurgent was killed.

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The fighting occurred the same day Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in a bid to ease tensions in the country, said he would seek constitutional revisions. In his televised address, Bouteflika said he would seek amendments to "reinforce representative democracy" in Algeria.

The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday some political analysts criticized the president's approach to mollify citizens.

"It is in no way a program of democratic transition. It's a speech to buy time," said political analyst Chafik Mesbah, a former high-ranking army officer.

Bouteflika's announcement is in addition to other bids to curb anti-government protests in Algeria.

Observers said Bouteflika is trying to spend his way out the unrest that began in January.

Algerians are angry about unemployment and inflation, and the government previously announced measures to reduce the cost of housing and provide new government jobs.

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