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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thenia - Suicide Bombing at Police Station East of Tangiers

THENIA, Algeria A car bomb attack on a police station killed two people and wounded 23 in a town east of Algiers on Tuesday, the second such bombing in the OPEC member in a month, the interior ministry said.

Some residents said the blast in Thenia appeared to be a suicide attack, the tactic used in a devastating twin bombing in the capital of the north African country on December 11 that killed at least 41 people including 17 U.N. staff.

El Watan newspaper said police on Monday shot dead a suspected senior member of the rebel group that planned the December 11 attacks and arrested four other members of the group near the village of Corso east of Algiers.

The group had been preparing another suicide bombing in Algiers, the independent French-language daily said. Corso, like Thenia, is in the Boumerdes region on the edge of Kabylie.

The daily said police had seized a truck and explosives. The truck had been bought in Tidjelabine village, where the vehicles used on December 11 were also purchased.

The bombing on Tuesday in Thenia 34 miles east of the capital ripped much of the front wall off a three-storey police building and badly damaged nearby shops and a restaurant.

"The explosion happened at 6.25 a.m. (0525 GMT) and thank God it didn't happen at 08.00 a.m. or we would have been killed without a doubt," a man who gave his name as Slimane told Reuters. His butchers shop was among the damaged buildings.

The Rest @ Reuters Africa

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