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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Men on trial over Paris bombings
Aftermath of Saint-Michel RER attack
The bombs left scores dead and injured
Two Algerian men accused of taking part in a bombing campaign on the Paris public transport system in 1995 have gone on trial.

Boualem Bensaid and Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, both aged 34, are being tried before a special court in Paris which deals with terrorism trials.

The bombing wave killed eight people and injured around 200 others.

Injured person taken away from Saint-Michel attack
The attacks left the city in a state of shock
The worst attack happened on 25 July at the Saint-Michel suburban railway (RER) station - when all of the eight fatalities occurred, and 150 were injured.

Explosives and nails had been packed into a gas bottle, and the explosion caused horrific injuries.

Other devices were planted at the Maison Blanche metro and Musee d'Orsay RER stations.

Three other bombs were also planted, but these offences are not being dealt with at this trial.

Responsibility for the attacks was claimed by the armed Algerian group, the GIA, which is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Algeria.

Aftermath of Musee d'Orsay attack
The bombs caused devastation to train carriages
Around 200 victims and relatives arrived at the court to witness the start of the trial, which is expected to last a month.

Mr Bensaid is accused of planting the Saint-Michel bomb and being part of the Maison Blanche attack.

Mr Belkacem is charged with helping him carry out the Musee d'Orsay bombing.

Both men face life imprisonment if convicted.

They are already serving 10-year sentences for membership of the GIA, and Mr Bensaid is serving 30 years for a failed attack on a high-speed TGV train in August 1995.

A third man accused over the attacks, Rachid Ramda, 33, has been held in London since 1995, but his extradition has been blocked by UK courts.

He is accused of financing the attacks.

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