World News

TIMELINE-Armed attacks and bombings in Maghreb states

(Reuters) - Sixty-seven people were killed when two car bombs exploded in upscale districts of Algiers on Tuesday, a health ministry source said.

Here is a chronology of recent militant activity in north Africa.

May 16, 2003 - Suicide bombers set off at least five blasts in Casablanca, Morocco, hitting a Spanish restaurant, a five-star hotel and a Jewish community centre. Forty-five people are killed, including 12 bombers, and about 60 wounded.

June 13, 2004 - The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), Algeria’s leading Islamic militant group which has ties to al Qaeda, declares war on foreign nationals and companies.

December 10, 2006 - A bus carrying foreign oil workers is bombed 10 km (6 miles) west of Algiers, killing the Algerian driver and a Lebanese worker. Nine others are wounded.

January 3, 2007 - A total of 14 gunmen are killed in clashes with security forces in and around Tunis on December 23 and January 3, rare serious breaches of security in a normally placid Tunisia.

February 13 - Seven bombs go off almost simultaneously in Algeria, killing six people east of the capital Algiers in an elaborate assault by suspected Islamist rebels.

March 4 - Three Algerians and a Russian are killed in a roadside attack southwest of Algiers on a bus carrying workers for a Russian gas pipeline construction company.

March 11 - A Moroccan blows himself up in a Casablanca Internet cafe, killing himself and wounding four people after a tussle with the owner of the cafe.

April 10 - Three suicide bombers detonate their explosive belts, killing themselves and at least one police officer and wounding more than 20 people in a police raid on a safe house in Casablanca, during which a fourth man is shot dead.

April 11 - Bombs kill 33 people in Algiers in attacks claimed by al Qaeda.

April 14 - Two suicide bombers kill themselves in an attack on U.S. diplomatic offices in Casablanca.

July 11 - A suicide bomber detonates an explosives-laden vehicle near a military barracks, killing himself and about eight other people in the restive Kabylie region east of Algiers. Al Qaeda’s north Africa wing claims responsibility.

September 6 - A suicide bomb attack before a scheduled visit by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika kills 20 people and wounds 107 in Batna, 430 km (270 miles) southeast of Algiers.

September 8 - A car bomb kills 37 people at a coast guard barracks in the port of Dellys, 100 km (62 miles) east of Algiers. Al Qaeda’s north Africa wing later claims responsibility for the attacks in Batna and Dellys.

October 7 - Hareg Zoheir, also known as Sofiane Abu Fasila, said to be second-in-command of Al Qaeda’s north African wing and suspected of planning most of the recent suicide bombings in Algeria, is killed.

December 11 - Two blasts kill 67 people in Algiers; one blast struck near the Constitutional Court building in Ben Aknoun district of Algiers and the other close to the U.N. offices and a police station in the Hydra district.

Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit