'Al-Qaeda' claims Algeria bombing

A suicide car blast injures nine in an attack targeting police and foreign workers.

    Algerians protested after al-Qaeda bombings at the beginning of September[AFP]

    Two French nationals, an Italian, five Algerian police and a driver were injured in the attack, the Algerian interior ministry said.
     
    According to the tape broadcast on Al Arabiya, "three foreigners" were killed in the blast.
     
    French condemnation
     
    The convoy was escorting workers for the French company Razel to a dam it is building in the region.
     
    Al Arabiya showed a picture of a fighter carrying a machinegun, with the inscription "martyrdom-seeker Othman Abu Jaafar" written on it, which accompanied the statement.
     
    Frederic Desagneaux, the French foreign ministry spokesman, said that France "firmly condemns [Friday's] terrorist attack".

    "We take these new threats very seriously.

    "We have instructed the diplomatic stations concerned to reinforce security."

    The attack came just hours after al-Qaeda called for action against French and Spanish targets in North Africa.  

    In a video released on Thursday, Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaeda's second-in-command, urged north Africa's Muslims to "cleanse" their land of Spaniards and French.

    Foreigners targeted

    Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is active in Kabylie where government forces have launched counter-terrorism operations in recent months after a series of deadly bombings.

    Algeria was hit by two deadly attacks at the start of August, claimed by the group, which killed more than 50 people and wounded more than 140 others.

    On September 6, a suicide attack targeting the Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika's convoy in the eastern town of Batna killed 22 people and wounded more than 100 others.

    Two days later, 30 people were killed and 40 wounded in another suicide attack against a coastguard barracks at Dellys, east of Algiers, involving a booby-trapped car.

    In April, car bomb attacks on the government headquarters and a police station in Algiers killed 33 people and injured more than 220.

    During the civil war of the 1990s around 30 French nationals were assassinated by Islamist groups who ordered all foreigners to leave the country. More than 100,000 people died in the conflict.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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