Two car bombs kill scores in Algiers, Algeria

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Location of Algeria

Two bombs have exploded in Algiers, the capital of Algeria, killing at least 67 people. Both explosions were car bombs, at least one of which is being called a suicide bombing.

The first explosion took place in the Ben Aknoun district in the center of the city, which is near the constitutional court. The second was near the United Nations offices in the Hydra neighborhood. A UN worker said to the BBC that the building has partially collapsed and people may be trapped inside.

Jean Fabre, of the United Nations Development Programme, said that 10 staff members had been killed by the bomb which was outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees's offices.

Several of the victims in the Ben Aknoun attack were students who were in a passing bus.

Officials believe that the attacks were carried out by The al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, which was previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat and sometimes still referred to as such.

Cquote1.svg I would like to condemn it in the strongest terms - it cannot be justified in any circumstances Cquote2.svg

—UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Algiers suffered a similar attack on April 11 of this year when two suicide car bombers claimed the lives of 33 people. According to Reuters, some people in Algeria have begun to speculate that the attacks on the 11th of the month is an homage to the September 11 against the United States.

Anis Rahmani, security expert and editor of a local paper, told Reuters that "al Qaeda wanted to send a strong message that it is still capable despite the lost of several top leaders. Now the key problem is that social conditions are still offering chances for terrorists to hire new rebels."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks while in Indonesia for the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference: "This is just unacceptable. I would like to condemn it in the strongest terms. It cannot be justified in any circumstances."

Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France, who recently visited Algeria, called the attacks "barbaric, hateful and deeply cowardly acts."

"President Sarkozy has just called President Bouteflika to express the French people's solidarity and compassion towards the Algerian people," said presidential spokesperson David Martinon.

White House spokesperson Gordon Johndroe said: "The United States stands with the people of Algeria, as well as the United Nations, as they deal with this senseless violence."

The Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem called off a cabinet meeting to allow him to visit the injured in the hospital.


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