Suicide bomber strikes in Algeria

Attack targets a crowd gathering ahead of a visit by the president.

    Algerians give first aid to the wounded
    victims in Batna [AFP]

    The official APS news agency quoted Bouteflika as saying: "Terrorist acts have absolutely nothing in common with the noble values of Islam."
     
    Violence subsides
     
    He 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.

    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 -continues its 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 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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