Algeria's defence ministry has denied media reports that at least 12 people died in Sunday’s double bombing east of the capital Algiers.
On Sunday, the AFP and Reuters news agencies reported that a French engineer – later identified as Pierre Nowacki - and his driver were killed when their car was blown up by a remote-controlled roadside bomb 50 km east of
But on Monday the Algerian Defence Ministry said only two people had been killed. "The attack killed two people, a French national and his Algerian driver who was working for a French public works company," a defence ministry statement stated Monday. "The toll given by some media is baseless," it added.
(Also Monday, Reuters reported, citing a security source, that another bombing had killed at least 20 people in Bouira, a town 120 km east of
The AFP bureau chief in
Playing down the threat of terrorism?
Furthermore, with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in bad health, many groups, especially within the military, are trying to grasp control of the government, says Parsons. “It may be the journalists were victim of false information because of the ongoing battle of succession within the Algerian government.”
Fayçal Metaoui, editor-in-chief of the Algerian news daily El Watan, says this isn’t the first time the government has appeared to hold back information. Metaoui says the government refused to divulge information regarding an attack on a military convoy, on June 6, which killed at least six soldiers.
“The Algerian government has a tendency to hide information. It’s possible that 13 people actually died in Sunday’s attacks but the government lowered it to two to play down the threat of terrorism,” Metaoui told
No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack, but in the past similar attacks have been claimed by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an Algerian Islamist group formerly known as the GSPC.
Date created : 2008-06-10