[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Suicide bomb kills 20 in Algeria
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
The bomb went off in Batna prior to a visit by President Bouteflika
At least 20 people are now known to have been killed and 107 injured in a suicide bombing in Algeria.

The attack happened on Thursday in the town of Batna, about 450km (279 miles) east of the capital, Algiers.

The bomb exploded in a crowd of people awaiting a scheduled visit to the town by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

In April, two bombs killed 23 people in Algiers. A group calling itself Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said it carried out those attacks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest bombing.

Officials had earlier put the death toll at 15, with more than 75 injured.

Appearing on television soon after the attack, Mr Bouteflika said Islamic militants were behind the attack.

He denounced them as "criminals", trying to disrupt his policy of national reconciliation, which is aimed at ending 15 years of fighting between the army and groups trying to set up an Islamic state.


"Terrorist acts have absolutely nothing in common with the noble values of Islam," the official APS news agency quoted the president as saying.

Mr Bouteflika later visited some of the wounded in a local hospital.

Conflict broke out in Algeria in 1992 after a general election won by an Islamist party was annulled, resulting in a bloody civil war in which more than 150,000 people died.

Insecurity has been increasing in Algeria, and across North Africa, since the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) re-launched itself as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb at the beginning of this year.

Country profile: Algeria
11 Jul 07 |  Country profiles

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific