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ALGERIA CLOSES ITS BORDER WITH MOROCCO

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Algeria closed its border with Morocco on Saturday in an escalating dispute over the arrest of two Algerians accused of plotting to attack Moroccan banks, security forces and civilians.

The arrests were a sign Algeria's bloody Islamic insurgency could be spilling over into neighboring Morocco, where Muslim fundamentalists have so far been relatively quiet.The border already is believed to be a source of smuggled weapons for gunmen trying to overthrow Algeria's military-installed regime, which canceled a January 1992 election the fundamentalists were expected to win. More than 4,000 people have been killed since then.

State-run ENTV announced that the border was closed temporarily and did not say when it would reopen. There was no indication whether anyone except Algerians and Moroccans would be affected.

Morocco announced visa requirements Friday after police caught two Algerians in a chase and shootout in Fez.