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Algeria suicide bomb kills 8: news agency PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 August 2008

ALGIERS, Sun Aug 10, ( - A suicide car bombing killed eight people east of Algiers late on Saturday in the second such attack this month, OPEC member Algeria's official APS news agency reported on Sunday.

The blast, which also wounded 19 people, happened at about 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) in the coastal town of Zemmouri el Bahri 45 km east of the Algerian capital, the agency reported an Interior Ministry source as saying.

The blast also damaged several buildings, the agency said. It did not identify the immediate target of the bomber and there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

A similar suicide bombing that wounded 25 people in Tizi Ouzou town east of Algiers on Aug. 3 targeted a police station and was claimed by al Qaeda's north Africa wing, the al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb.

Al Qaeda said the Aug 3 attack was a message to "the sons of France and the slaves of America" that it was ready to inflict more violence to defend that it called the Islamic nation.

The group has links with like-minded militants in north Africa and is the most effective armed rebel organisation in the country of 34 million, Africa's second largest country by area.

The group has claimed several attacks in the past including the twin suicide bombings of U.N. offices and a court building in Algiers in December 2007, which killed 41 people, 17 of them United Nations staff.

Algeria, an important supplier of gas to Europe, is emerging from more than a decade of conflict that began when in 1992 the military-backed government scrapped legislative elections a radical Islamic party was poised to win.

About 150,000 people have died during the ensuing violence.

The bloodshed has subsided in recent years and in 2006 the government freed more than 2,000 former Islamist guerrillas under an amnesty designed to put an end to the conflict.

But a hard core of several hundred rebels fights on as members of al Qaeda's north Africa wing, which was previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat or GSPC.

The group's leader, Abdelmalek Droukdel, said in a statement to the New York Times last month that increasing numbers of young men around the region were joining the group out of persistent poverty and anger at what he called the West's war on Islam.

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