Algeria suicide blast toll rises

No claims of responsibility yet for attack on crowd waiting for president's arrival.

    Bouteflika visited those wounded by Thursday
    night's suicide bombing in hospital [EPA]

    Bouteflika accused the attackers of trying to damage his policy of national reconciliation, which is aimed at ending 15 years of fighting between the army and anti-government groups.

    The official APS news agency quoted him as saying: "Terrorist acts have absolutely nothing in common with the noble values of Islam."
     
    Bouteflika insisted he would never abandon his national reconciliation policy.
     
    Conflict broke out in Algeria in 1992 after military-backed authorities scrapped parliamentary elections that an Islamist party was set to win.

    Thousands killed
     
    Up to 200,000 people are estimated to have been killed in 15 years of violence.

    Political violence has subsided in recent years but an estimated 500 fighters - now calling themselves al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb -continue their battle, mainly in the Kabylie region, east of Algiers.

    The group said it carried out co-ordinated attacks on the Algerian prime minister's office and a police station in an Algiers suburb on April 11 that killed at least 33 people and injured more than 200 others.

    In July, 10 soldiers were killed and 35 people wounded when a suicide bomber drove a lorry packed with explosives into a barracks southeast of the capital.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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