October 1, 2008 / 11:10 AM / 9 years ago

Al Qaeda says it was behind Algeria bombing

DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda’s north Africa wing said it was behind a deadly suicide bombing in Algeria on Sunday, according to a statement posted on the Internet on Wednesday.

A car bomb exploded in the Takdemt district near the coastal town of Dellys, 100 km (62 miles) east of Algiers, on Sunday, killing three people and wounding six.

The group, which calls itself al Qaeda organization in the Islamic Maghreb, identified the bomber as Abu al-Abbas Abd al-Rahman and said his car was laden with 600 kg (1,320 pounds) of an unspecified explosive material.

The statement, posted on an Islamist website, said the bombing had targeted army barracks.

“We bring (the Muslim Ummah) the glad tidings of the mujahideens’ victories and their massacre of the apostate slaves of America,” the statement said.

Al Qaeda’s north Africa wing has posted several statements on the Internet during September saying it will not stop its attacks until Algeria is free from French and U.S. influence and what it called the “apostate” Algerian government is removed.

Since adopting the al Qaeda name early last year, the group, previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), has claimed several attacks including twin suicide bombings of U.N. offices and a court building in Algiers in December 2007 which killed 41 people.

It also claimed a suicide truck bombing against a coastguard barracks in Dellys in September 2007 that killed 37 people.

Violence began in Algeria in 1992 when a military-backed government scrapped elections that a radical Islamic party was poised to win. About 150,000 people have been killed in the ensuing violence.

Reporting by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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