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Algerian authorities decide to close the southern border with Libya: media

(Xinhua)

08:44, August 31, 2011

ALGIERS, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Algeria has decided to close its southern border with Libya, after family members of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi arrived Monday in Algeria, local media reported Tuesday.

Algerian security services will receive an instruction to close the southern border with Libya in view of the fragile security situation in Sahel region and Libya, Algerian French- language newspaper El Watan reported on its website, quoting a government source as saying.

Algeria has hundreds of kilometres long border with Libya, stretching through vast expanses of sparsely peopled arctic desert.

Gaddafi's wife Safia, his daughter Aisha, his sons Hannibal and Mohammed, accompanied by their children, entered Algeria at 8:45 a.m. local time (0745 GMT) Monday through the Algerian-Libyan border, the Algerian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Algerian officials allowed Gaddafi's family members to enter the country via the Tinalcom crossing point in Illizi province on the southeast border, Algeria's Arabic-language daily Echorouk said on its website.

In recent clashes, Algerian security forces have killed five unidentified armed militants who tried to cross this border, local source said.

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