Algeria: The Man on the Mountain

Into the Saharan oasis town of Biskra rolled a cautious column of halftracks loaded with olive-uniformed Algerian troops. Spears of sunlight flashed from the lenses of binoculars as nervous officers searched the streets for signs of the enemy. But the town was empty of armed opposition, and all eyes lifted to the sere, sawback massif that reared beyond. Up there, among the blue defiles of the Aures Mountains, waited the latest defector from Premier Ahmed ben Bella's socialist paradise, and with him were 9,000 well-armed veterans ready for resistance, rebellion or death....

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