This was something I read in the 70s, about an early Algerian war massacre. This was in a popular, French magazine (I don't remember the name) - think Readers’ Digest and you’re not far off.
Now, according to this article it was really gruesome. Took place in one locality, a town maybe. All in day, this wasn't a series of killings. About 300
* odd “colons” killed including babies’ brains dashed out on walls. Real ISIS stuff. Except, and unexpected for the magazine demographics, they were very clear on attributing sophisticated motives to the specific Algerian rebel subgroup that did this. They wanted to provoke French reprisals, which they got in spades.
The French army got played, went medieval on the area and any notion of accommodation, such as with native Algerians that merely wanted the right of vote, went out the window as French military sweeps reacted brutally to the atrocities.
* 300 deaths? This is 40 years later on my end, and the magazine wasn’t known for scholarship. Could have been exaggerated or misremembered on my end. The numbers are fuzzy and I don’t want to requote the French kill count of “rebels” but the article claimed that widespread French brutality in reprisals effectively shut the door on any negotiated settlement short of independence and pushed all the rebels groups into harder positions.
Anyone have an idea of what event this might have been referring to?