Page last updated at 01:04 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 02:04 UK

'Twelve die' in Algerian blasts


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, 50km (30 miles) 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.

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.

Mr Kouchner praised the Algerian people and authorities who were "fighting with courage and determination the scourge of terrorism".

Al-Qaeda campaign?

Three employees of the same company were wounded by a bomb attack last September, which was claimed by the al-Qaeda 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.

Al-Qaeda in Islamic North Africa is the by-product of an Islamist militia that waged battle with the government throughout much of the 1990s.

The group, which adopted its new name last year, has tried to assassinate President Bouteflika and appears to be modelling its attacks on al-Qaeda in using suicide bombs and targeting international symbols such as the UN.

The group's ambition is to create a broad, al-Qaeda-inspired jihadist across North Africa.

Last year when al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al Zawahiri, urged the group's supporters in the region to "cleanse" it of Spaniards and French.

Blast kills soldiers in Algeria
06 Jun 08 |  Africa
Country profile: Algeria
29 Mar 08 |  Country profiles

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