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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

AQIM kills 43 People in ssers, Kabylie, Eastern Algeria

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2008 18:32

The bomb attack is the worst for several months in the country At least 43 people have been killed and 38 injured in a suicide bomb attack on an Algerian police school.

The attack occurred in the town of Issers, in the Kabylie region of Algeria, 60km east of the capital Algiers.

The suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives at the main entrance to the school as candidates for an entry exam were waiting outside, witnesses said.

The Algerian interior ministry says civilians as well as police officers were among the victims.

The casualty figures were still provisional, it added in a statement.

The attack is the deadliest in the country in several months, worse than the December 2007 attack in Algiers against government and UN buildings, which killed at least 41 people and injured many others.

The explosion left a crater several metres across.

"It's utter carnage," the father of one of those killed in the attack told news agency AFP.

"It's a catastrophe. May God punish them for the crime they have committed against these youngsters, and their country."

Another candidate survived because he went to buy cigarettes but his father, mother and brother were killed in the blast, witnesses said.

As well as devastating the entrance to the school, the blast destroyed several nearby houses and blew out windows in nearby shops.

Emergency workers gathered up the remains of the dead, wrapping them in blankets and placing them in waiting ambulances.

Today's attack follows a similar attack on Sunday in which 11 members of Algeria's security forces and a civilian were killed in an ambush by armed rebel groups in the east of the country.

The attack, which took place in Skikda, was one of the deadliest in the past few weeks and also left about a dozen security officers wounded, Quotidien d'Oran and Liberte newspapers reported today.

The papers also reported that four rebel fighters were killed. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

One bomb exploded as security forces in a convoy of three vehicles were on patrol in the Skikda region. The blast was then followed by a second bomb.

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