INTERNATIONAL

Algiers blasts kill at least 60

Atul Aneja

Worst of a series of bombings in the Algerian capital this year

DUBAI: Explosions in the Algerian capital, Algiers, have targeted U.N. offices and the Constitutional Court killing at least 60 persons.

One blast hit the U.N. offices in the Hydra neighbourhood. Eyewitnesses said a large number of persons were wounded in the strike. Several persons are apparently still trapped in the rubble of a building which has been badly hit.

Interior Minister Yazid Zerhouni said two car bombs had exploded. “The death toll is very high,” he said without giving an exact figure.

In the explosion near the court, a number of students travelling in a college bus appeared to have suffered maximum casualties.

Algeria has faced a number of bomb attacks in 2007. More than 50 persons died when a suicide truck bomber drove his vehicle into a Coast Guard base in September.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility. In the past, a group calling itself, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, had taken responsibility for the attacks including a strike in April in Algiers, in which 33 persons were killed. Analysts say this group was earlier called the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), before it became affiliated with the Al-Qaeda last year.

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