At least forty-seven people were killed when two bombs exploded in Algiers on Tuesday, a security source said, the second attack in eight months on the north African OPEC member country.There was no immediate claim of responsibility but commentators said it appeared the work of al Qaeda’s north Africa wing, which claimed a similar bombing in downtown Algiers in April and other blasts east of the capital over the summer that have worried foreign investors.
People ran through the streets crying in panic after the first blast and the wail of police sirens filled the air.
“I was nearby when I heard a huge explosion. I am fed up with this situation,” student Mohamed Selnani told Reuters.
Telephone lines in the city of three million were jammed or not working, residents said.
The source said the final death toll could go as high as 60.
The U.N. was a target as well:
Two car bombs, one of which targeted the U.N. refugee agency’s offices, killed at least 45 people including 10 U.N. staff members Tuesday, authorities said.
Jean Fabre of the U.N. Development Program said it was still unknown who died or which U.N. agencies they represented. Fabre said he received the information from Marc Destanne De Bernis, the agency’s top official in the Algerian capital.
The explosion occurred around 9:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. EST) and blew off the front off the U.N. refugee agency building, said UNHCR chief spokesman Ron Redmond. It apparently caused even worse damage to the main U.N. building housing the U.N. Development Program and other agencies diagonally across the street.
No one has claimed the latest act from the ‘peaceful religion of Islam’, but it’s suspected to be the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, or GSPC, a wing of al-Qaida.
Unsuccessful in its attempt to overthrow the Algerian government, they’ve turned to carrying out a “holy war” on anything regarding Western interests.
The group is comprised of Islamic thugs gleaned throughout North Africa.
The Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC are the initials for the group’s French name) was formed in 1998 as an outgrowth of the once-powerful and extremely violent Groupe Islamique Armée (GIA), whose popularity drastically declined following a series of massacres in which it killed thousands of Algerian civilians. Repudiating the organization’s brutal tactics, a former leader, Hassan Hattab, created the GSPC. Hattab declared that the new group would refrain from attacking civilians. Largely due to this policy, the GSPC quickly rose to prominence in Algeria’s rural areas, where most of its support is located. Although the GSPC has not wholly avoided non-combatants, it has eclipsed the GIA as the most deadly terrorist organization in Algeria.
The group repeatedly attacks the Algerian military and also kidnaps Western tourists in an effort to weaken and ultimately overthrow the Algerian government, which it seeks to replace with Islamic rule based on a “pure” interpretation of the Koran.
In September 2006, the GSPC joined forces with Al Qaeda, and Ayman al-Zawahri announced a “blessed union” between the groups in declaring France and enemy and fighting against French and American interests. In January 2007, the group announced that it had changed its name to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to reflect its alliance with Al Qaeda, from which it receives material and financial support.
Founder: Mokhtar Belmokhtar (in Algeria)
Former Leader: Hassan Hattab
Current Leader: Abu Musab Abdelouadoud
They pick such lofty, revolutionary sounding names for their terrorist cells to go along with their methods of slaughter, don’t they?