Divisions between Islamic fundamentalists and secular and moderately religious Algerians erupted into an unprecedented reign of terror when Algeria's military-backed government cancelled parliamentary elections in 1992, which the Islamic Salvation Front (Front Islamique du Salut--FIS), an organization intent on governing by Islamic law, was set to win. The FIS, which had gathered support not only for its conservative religious views but also for its promise to end economic hardship and repressive military rule, then split into a moderate wing and a number of armed extremist factions. The most notorious of these, the Armed Islamic Group, was believed largely responsible for the series of village massacres that characterized the war. About 70,000 civilians were butchered (1993-98) in surprise raids throughout the country, especially in places where members of civil defense groups were believed by the militants to be located. Western governments remained mostly silent in the first few years of the conflict, including France, Algeria's colonial master until 1962. Acute French fears of Algerian terrorism spreading to France were confirmed by bombings in Paris in 1995 and 1996. In November 1996, Algeria's President Liamine Zeroual (1941-) adopted a repressive constitution, partly in an effort to destroy the FIS, but in the face of more and more killings, multiparty elections were held in June 1997. The government won with a huge majority, reflecting most Algerians' disillusionment with the religious opposition. In September 1997 the FIS unilaterally declared a truce, but continued bloodshed made it clear the FIS had little control over the terrorists. In early 1998 the government, criticized internationally for its failure to protect its citizens, announced plans to reinforce civilian self-defense units. Some observers suspected Algeria's government of allowing terror to flourish in order to consolidate its political power. The FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000 and many armed militants of other groups surrendered under an amnesty program designed to promote national reconciliation. Nevertheless, small numbers of armed militants persist in confronting government forces and carrying out isolated attacks on villages and other types of terrorist attacks.