Al Qaeda Attacks in Algeria, 40 or More Muslims dead

algerian-attacks.jpgTwin coordinated bombings in Algeria have the fingerprints of Al Qaeda in Algeria all over them. One against the UN refugee agency, the other was a car bomb near the supreme court building where most of the casualties took place – it was triggered to coincide with the passing of a bus full of law students. Story from AP:

One bomb tore apart the front of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) building. A second blew apart a bus packed with university students outside the Supreme Court.

Algeria has been hit by a number of bomb attacks this year — in which scores of people have been killed — and most have been claimed by Al-Qaeda.

Interior Minister Yazid Zerhouni said a suicide bomber triggered the explosion outside the Algiers office of the UNHCR.

The front of the red brick building was badly damaged and the UNHCR said staff were among the casualties.

In the second near-simultaneous attack, a car bomb was detonated outside the Supreme Court as a bus packed with university students passed by, heading for a nearby law faculty.

Security sources said the bus took the full force of the blast and most of the dead and injured there were students.

“The death toll is very high,” the minister told reporters without giving a figure.

Hospital sources said 52 people were killed in the two attacks but did not give a breakdown. They added that several foreigners were among the seriously injured.

UPDATE: Death toll Climbs to 62

UPDATE II: Jammiewearin Fool notes that AQ has now claimed credit.

Also in Echorouk Online you can see that there were leadup explosions to this, one possibly a “work accident” which was tagged as a gas explosion. Algerian Authorities also knew this was coming, but could not prevent it based on the sketchy intel they got over the weekend:

Security forces in Tizi Ouzou Province (100 km east of Algiers) has learnt that terrorists are planning to target security forces using car bombs, according to reliable sources.

This information came after an arrested terrorist had revealed information about over 80 terrorists who equipped two cars with bombs.

The targets has not been determined yet, said the same sources. Algerian army forces have carried out a large-scale military operation since Saturday.

A suspect who was carrying a hunting rifle was arrested. More than five hideouts were destroyed and hand-made bombs, bombs, blankets and food were recovered as well.

Previous stories on Al Qaeda in Algeria