12 die in Algerian blasts


Algiers : At least 12 people have been killed by two explosions at a train station east of the Algerian capital. Two bombs detonated within minutes in the town of Beni Amrane in Boumerdes region, 50 km from Algiers. The first bomb killed a French citizen and his Algerian driver as they were leaving the town’s railway station. The second device exploded as rescue workers arrived. No group has claimed the bombings, which follow attacks blamed on Al Qaeda-aligned militants. The Frenchman was an engineer working for a French firm on a renovation project at the station.

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French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner condemned the attack. “I want to express my feeling of disgust and my absolute condemnation of this blind terrorist violence that nothing can justify,” he said in a statement. Kouchner praised the Algerian people and authorities who were “fighting with courage and determination the scourge of terrorism”.

Three employees of the same company were wounded by a bomb attack last September, which was claimed by theAlQaeda in Islamic North Africa group.

A bomb attack by suspected Islamist militants killed six soldiers in the same province on Thursday. That strike came a day after a bomber attacked barracks in eastern Algiers.

Security forces have blamed a group calling itself Al-Qaeda in Islamic North Africa for the attacks. In December, the group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a UN building in Algiers, in which 41 people were killed.