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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Rachid Sid Ali Killed in Algeria

ALGIERS, Algeria (Reuters) -- Algerian security forces have killed the mastermind of suicide bombings including a triple attack in Algiers in April that claimed 33 lives, a government-run newspaper reported on Thursday.

This Algiers police station was one of three targets whose April 11 bombings are blamed on Rachid Sid Ali.

Rachid Sid Ali, a military adviser to the al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, was killed on July 30 in the troubled Kabylie region east of Algiers, El Moudjahid said.

He was killed along with his aide Haroun El Achaachi "thanks to the help of the local population of Iboudranene" village near Kabylie's main town of Tizi Ouzou, the daily added, citing a security source.

Attacks plotted by Sid Ali include suicide car bombings at the government headquarters and two police stations in Algiers on April 11 which killed 33 people, and a suicide truck bombing on July 11 that killed at least eight soldiers at a military barracks in Kabylie.

"He supervised the entire operations and gave instructions to film attacks, and he was behind the acquisition of car bombs. He had plans for large-scale attacks," the newspaper reported.

Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), swore allegiance to al Qaeda last year and last month vowed more attacks in the Maghreb region of Algeria.

Algerian security forces have stepped up assaults on al Qaeda hideouts after the group switched its focus to high profile bombings in towns and away from hit-and-run attacks on police in the countryside.
Founded in 1998, the GSPC began as an offshoot of another armed group that was waging an armed revolt to establish an Islamic state.
The uprising began in 1992 after army-backed authorities, fearing an Iran-style revolution, scrapped a parliamentary election that an Islamist party was set to win. Up to 200,000 people were killed in the ensuing bloodshed.

The Rest @ CNN World

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