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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 21:38 GMT 22:38 UK
Algerian jailed for Paris blasts
By Mark Lowen
BBC News

Court sketch showing Rachid Ramda (1 October 2007)
In 2006, Ramda was jailed on a lesser charge over the blasts
An Algerian man has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for helping fund a wave of deadly bomb attacks on Paris Metro stations 12 years ago.

Rachid Ramda, of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), was jailed for a minimum of 22 years for his role in the attacks that killed eight and injured 150.

The blasts in three stations in 1995 were the worst bombings in France since World War II.

GIA is an offshoot of the main Islamist opposition movement in Algeria.

Nail bombs

Eight people died and 150 were wounded as the first blast tore through Saint Michel station in Paris's tourist hub, the Latin quarter.

Two other blasts on the Paris Metro network just three months later injured many more, terrifying the nation.

Ramda was arrested in London in 1995 and accused of financing the operation from Britain.

After a 10-year battle between French and British authorities, he was extradited to France to face trial.

The court found he was the financial architect of the attacks, some of which had used gas canisters loaded with nails.

Ramda is a leading member of GIA, which called the attacks a punishment for France for supporting the military-backed Algerian government against Islamic insurgents.

With France's troubled colonial past, the bombing stirred agonised memories of the Franco-Algerian war some 50 years ago.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Footage of from the scenes of the Paris bomb attacks



SEE ALSO
Algeria's 'export of terror'
26 Feb 03 |  Africa
Timeline: Algeria
02 Feb 06 |  Country profiles

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