Bomb attack injures foreigners in Algeria

21st September 2007, Comments 0 comments

ALGIERS (AFP) - A bomb attack near a city east of Algiers injured two French citizens, one Italian and six Algerians, including five police, security sources said Friday.

ALGIERS (AFP) - A bomb attack near a city east of Algiers injured two French citizens, one Italian and six Algerians, including five police, security sources said Friday.

The three foreigners, who worked for firms operating in Algeria, were being escorted by the police when a small bomb exploded next to their convoy, according to the sources.

The attack took place near to Lakhdaria (formerly Palestro), according to the sources. There is no confirmation yet from the Italian or French embassies.

The attack came the day after Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri used a video message to call for the Iberian peninsula to be restored to the Islamic world, saying the first step needs to be the "cleansing" of Spaniards and French from north Africa.

Al-Qaeda has stepped up operations in north Africa through its Algerian offshoot, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which has been renamed Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb.

Earlier this week two French nationals working in Algiers flew home after Algerian intelligence agencies picked up reports of an alleged plot to abduct them.

The two men worked for the airport management company Aeroports de Paris (ADP), and were told to return immediately after French intelligence received a tip-off from its Algerian counterpart.

Algerian agents had specific information about "threats of an abduction" targeting the two airport employees from a "terrorist group linked to Al-Qaeda", said the source.

Algeria was hit by two deadly attacks at the start of the month, claimed by the regional Al-Qaeda branch, which killed more than 50 people and wounded more than 140 others.

On September 6, a suicide attack targeting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's convoy in the eastern town of Batna killed 22 people and wounded more than 100 others.

Two days later, another suicide attack against a coastguard barracks at Dellys east of Algiers, involving a booby-trapped car, left 30 people dead and 40 wounded.

During the civil war of the 1990s around 30 French citizens were assassinated by Islamist groups who had ordered all foreigners to leave the country.

AFP

Subject: French news

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