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Friday, April 13, 2007

Al Qaeda Action in Algeria Spreads to Morocco

CASABLANCA, Morocco - Two car bombs in Algeria Wednesday provided jarring reminders of the Islamic insurgency that wreaked havoc there in the 1990s. It was a signal that yet another large-scale battle with militants may be brewing.

For weeks, the government has been fighting Al Qaeda-linked insurgents in the remote highlands of the North African nation. But these are the first attacks on the capital, Algiers , in years – one hit the prime minister's office in the city center and the other a police station in the eastern outskirts. Together the attacks killed at least 30 people.

In neighboring Morocco on Tuesday, three suspected terrorists exploded suicide belts and another was shot dead as police were chasing them. They were all wanted in connection with another suicide bombing on March 11.

The governments of this region, ruled by entrenched authoritarians, face a confrontation with a growing Islamist movement. Some groups are rising up to challenge the government in elections, and others are becoming more violent.

Source: Christian Science Monitor via the SITE Institute

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