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Africa

Two bomb blasts kill seven

Latest update : 2009-02-13

Two bomb blasts in eastern Algeria killed four members of the same family late on Thursday, as well as two police officers and a firefighter

AFP - Two bomb blasts in eastern Algeria killed seven people in the hours after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced he will run for a new term, APS news agency quoted security sources as saying Friday.

Four members of the same family, including two women and a baby, were killed by the first bomb, which exploded in Foum El-Metlag, near Tebassa, as their van passed by late Thursday.

The second blast occurred shortly afterward following the arrival of rescue workers, killing two police officers and a firefighter. Another officer was seriously wounded.

The Tebessa region, near the Tunisian border some 630 kilometres (400 miles) east of Algiers and 200 kilometres from the coast, has been largely spared the violence blamed on Islamic militants which has wracked Algeria for years.

Security services said the attack was also unusual in targeting civilians.

Most attacks have focussed on security force personnel or public buildings within 100 kilometres of the capital, where the north African branch of Al-Qaeda is active.

Bouteflika, 72 next month, announced Thursday he will run for a third term in April 9 elections he is tipped as certain to win.

He said he would stand as an "independent," pursue his policy of national reconciliation and "fight against terrorism with all necessary means" while leaving the door open to those who "repent."

Bouteflika is credited with helping to end a decade-long civil war that killed around 150,000 people following the 1992 cancellation of elections that an Islamic party had been poised to win.

Bouteflika proposed an amnesty for rebels who laid down their arms and twice secured public endorsement for his plans towards "national reconciliation" through referendums, but sporadic violence persists.
   

Date created : 2009-02-13