/ 9 January 2008

Algeria attackers ambush and kill soldiers

Suspected Islamist rebels killed five soldiers in an ambush on a military convoy east of Algiers on Wednesday, a security source said.

The attack occurred near the town of Tizi Ouzou, 120km east of the capital, the source said, without giving further details.

The town is at the centre of the forested mountain region of Kabylie, where authorities say many Islamist rebels are based.

The attack was the worst such incident in the North African country since suspected al-Qaeda militants rammed a bomb-laden car into a police station on January 2, killing four police officers and injuring 20 other people in Naciria, also east of Algiers.

A total of at least 37 people, including 17 United Nations staff, were killed in a double suicide bombing in Algiers on December 11, the government said. Hospital sources said the death toll was more than 60.

Maghreb al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for that attack, which hit UN offices and a court building, saying it had targeted ”the slaves of America and France”. — Reuters