/ 10 September 2007

Report: Algerian bomber only 15 years old

The terrorist who on Saturday apparently helped drive a truck loaded with explosives into a marine barracks in the eastern Algerian city of Dellys and detonate it, killing 30 people and injuring 47, was only 15 years old, the daily El Watan reported on Monday.

The newspaper based its report on a statement by the al-Qaeda group in the Islamic Maghreb claiming responsibility for the attack, and a suicide bombing two days earlier in the town of Batna, in which 22 people died.

According to the al-Qaeda statement, young Nabil had changed his name to Abou Mossaab Zerkaoui, the former al-Qaeda head in Iraq who was killed in a US raid.

However, the newspaper said those who knew him described the teenager as a serious student at a secondary school in Bourouba, who never gave any sign that he had become a religious or political extremist.

El Watan quotes his mother as saying that the boy had been abducted and forced to accompany the chauffeur to the barracks.

”Nabil’s death was not harder than knowing that he was used to rip apart 30 Algerians,” his mother told the daily. ”I just can’t believe it. I will never leave those who kidnapped my son in peace.” — Sapa-dpa