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Politics | Human rights

Al-Qaeda claims Algeria blasts

afrol News, 22 August - Al-Qaeda's North Africa wing has claimed responsibility for suicide blasts this week that claimed over 50 lives in an audio message sent to Arab satellite network, al-Jazeera.

The message said attacks had been carried out in revenge for an ambush in which Islamist militants had died.

Twin bombings in eastern Algerian town of Bouira killed 11, wounding 31 on Wednesday while Tuesday attack at police academy claimed 43 lives leaving 38 injured.

In the message, spokesman for the Movement, identified as Salah Abu Mohammed maintained that the attacks were in response to 'the death of 12 young mujaheddin who were killed on 8 August in Tizi Ouzou in the east of Cabilia' during an operation carried out by police following an attack on a police station in the same city.

In audio message Mr Abu Mohamed also attacked local media as guilty of covering up the news of the ambush. There was no way to authenticate Friday's message, but in the past, militant groups have delivered responsibility claims via news channel.

Earlier this month, the group was quoted saying: "Our fingers are on the triggers the caravans of martyrs long to crush your fortifications in Defence of our Muslim ummah (nation)," according to Site Intelligence Group.

Al-Qaeda's has claimed bomb blast in Tizi Ouzou which injured 25 including the July attack, in which police said a suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up and injured 13 Algerian soldiers in Lakhdaria, also east of Algiers.

In June, a French engineer and his Algerian driver were killed in a bomb attack in the same area that was also claimed by the group.

Recent bombings highlight Algeria's inability to effectively stamp out terrorism, despite Algerian security services having improved their counter-terrorism tactics since the 1990s.

Algeria is emerging from more than a decade of conflict that began in 1992 when military backed government to scrap elections, a radical Islamic party was poised to win and 150 000 people died during ensuing violence.

In December 2006, 41 people died in a suicide bombing which targeted government buildings in United Nations offices in Algiers.

The bloodshed has subsided in recent years, and in 2006 government freed more than 2 000 former Islamist guerrillas under an amnesty designed to put an end to conflict.

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