July 5 marks the 50th anniversary of Algeria’s independence from France — the latter had ruled the former as a colony since 1830. The bitter, eight-year-long war that paved the way for Algerian freedom is immortalized in literature and film and its legacy looms large: an archetypal anticolonial struggle saw the strategic use of terrorist tactics as well as a brutal counter-insurgency campaign. The regime that came into power after France’s departure converted its revolutionary zeal into authoritarian control. TIME looks at pictures from the war for Algerian independence.
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