Bomb blasts in Algiers: The work of Al Qaeda?

Two bomb explosions today have killed at least 45 people, including 10 UN workers, in the capital of Algeria. The AP reports:

ALGIERS, Algeria — 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.

Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni, quoted by the official news agency APS, said the targets were the offices of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the seat of Algeria’s Constitutional Council.

The UNHCR’s chief spokesman, Ron Redmond, confirmed that the agency’s Algiers office was hit by an apparent car bomb, and that some staff were injured. He said the explosion happened at about 9:30 a.m. in a street where the offices of the UNHCR and the U.N. Development Program are both located.

“What is suspected to be a car bomb went off in the street,” he said.

APS said some victims of one of the attacks had been riding a school bus.

Public radio, Algiers Network 3, said the two bombs went off about 10 minutes apart.

Algerian TV images broadcast in France showed a badly damaged building with many windows blown out.

Algeria has been battling Islamic insurgents since the early 1990s, when the army canceled the second round of the country’s first-ever multiparty elections, stepping in to prevent likely victory by an Islamic fundamentalist party.

Islamist armed groups then turned to force to overthrow the government, with up to 200,000 people killed in the ensuing violence.

The last year has seen a series of bombings — many of them hitherto unheard of suicide attacks — against state targets.

Recent bombings have been claimed by al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa. That was the name adopted in January after the remnants of the insurgency, the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, or GSPC, formally linked with al-Qaida.

Gateway Pundit has much more on this developing story.

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