US general says no evidence Algeria backing Qadhafi

Algiers – The top US general responsible for Africa said Wednesday he had no evidence that Algeria has sent mercenaries to support the regime of Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi.

"I have seen absolutely no reporting that indicates that Algeria is suporting the movement of fighters to Libya," General Carter Ham, who heads the US Africa command (AFRICOM), told journalists in Algiers.
"To the countrary, Algeria has been supporting and strongly so regional security and countering terrorism," Ham added.
Libya's National Transitional Council, an umbrella group for the various rebel forces fighting to topple Qadhafi, has accused Algeria of sending mercenaries to support the embattled dictator.
Algeria has strongly denied the accusations.
On his first visit to the country since taking charge of AFRICOM, Ham said his "command is commited to strengthening and expanding this relationship and working with Algeria in a number of areas regarding mutual security cooperation interests."
Ham discussed the unrest in Libya and regional security with Abdelkader Messahel, Algeria's minister responsible for Africa and the Sahel, according to a statement from the Algerian foreign ministry.
Ham also met with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

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