8/24/2008

A series of deadly bombs

Algeria's reconciliation policy is threatened by a spate of bombings

Some 60 people have been killed in a series of car bomb explosions over two days in a region to the south-east of Algiers, marking a major escalation in the activity of Islamist underground groups that have acquired new purpose since affiliating with al-Qaida in 2006. The upsurge in violence appears to reflect the concern of al-Qaida's leadership to open up new fronts in the Middle East and North Africa after the serious setbacks that the movement has suffered in Iraq. Some Algerian commentators have also blamed the escalation on the government's reconciliation policy, thereby raising questions over whether the president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, should be allowed to stay on for a third term.

The heaviest casualties from the latest attacks occurred when a suicide bomber exploded his vehicle outside a gendarmerie training college in Issers on August 19th where a large number of prospective new recruits were waiting for the gates to open. The government said that 43 people were killed and 45 injured. The next day there were two car bomb explosions in the nearby town of Bouira. The first, outside a military building, left four soldiers lightly wounded, according to the official Algerian Press Service. The second exploded outside a hotel, and killed 11 people. It was reported that the hotel was being used to house contractors working on the nearby Koudiet Acerdoune dam project. Companies from Canada, Turkey and Italy have been involved in this project, but it was not immediately clear whether any foreign nationals were among the casualties. ...



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[Source: The Economist: News analysis - Posted by King Of Videos and Blogs]

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