Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

#TECH 24

Tech giants under scrutiny: The problem with Uber

Read more

FOCUS

Inside an Iranian nuclear research reactor

Read more

Africa

Al Qaeda offshoot launches strike on Algerian military base

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-03

An al Qaeda offshoot has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack Saturday that left at least 24 people wounded in the Algerian city of Tamanrasset when a suicide bomber drove a vehicle packed with explosives into a paramilitary police base.

AFP - An Al-Qaeda splinter group claimed Saturday to have carried out a suicide attack on a military base in southern Algeria which left 24 people wounded.

"We inform you that we are behind the explosion that occurred this morning at Tamanrasset," a message sent to AFP and signed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa said.

The website of the Algerian Arabic-language daily En Nahar said 10 gendarmes and 14 civilians were taken to hospital after the attack at the paramilitary gendarmerie headquarters in Tamanrasset, 1,970 kilometres (1,220 miles) south of Algiers.

Some of the injured were said to be in critical condition, while the suicide bomber was blown apart in the blast, which also caused major damage to the building.

The APS news agency confirmed the attack without giving the number of casualties and said a major security presence was now being deployed in the zone.

It was the first time such an attack had been reported in the area.

The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (Jamat Tawhid Wal Jihad Fi Garbi Afriqqiya) surfaced in December, when it claimed to be holding three Westerners kidnapped from a Western Sahara refugee camp in Algeria in October.

Security sources said it had broken off from the main group, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), in order to spread jihad to west Africa and not confine themselves just to the Maghreb or Sahel regions.

The group released a video of the abducted aid workers and another showing six dark-skinned, turbaned men speaking of their ideological references, including Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar but putting more emphasis on historical figures of west African Islam.

Also in December, Mali and Algeria agreed to step up coordination in efforts to root out Al-Qaeda-linked groups in the region.

Al-Qaeda-linked groups have been active in Algeria, Mali, Niger and Mauritania for a decade but their activity has picked up since the fall of Moamer Kadhafi scattered the slain Libyan strongman's arsenal across the region.

In April 2010, the four countries formed a Committee of Joint Chiefs (CEMOC), based in Tamanrasset, to coordinate their military efforts against AQIM.
 

Date created : 2012-03-03

  • ALGERIA

    Al Qaeda claims responsibility for Algeria bombing

    Read more

  • ALGERIA

    Deadly suicide attack hits army barracks

    Read more

  • ALGERIA

    Soldiers killed in attack on Algerian army post

    Read more

COMMENT(S)