Blast kills 20 as terror grips Algeria capital
The bomb went off just after 8pm, close to a cinema and a crowded cafe, as residents were breaking their daily fast for the holy month of Ramadan. The explosion, in the busy Belcourt district of the Algerian capital, could be heard right across the city.
The government said 10 people were killed, but hospitals receiving the victims gave a casualty toll of at least 20 dead and 60 or more wounded, many seriously. "I counted at least 10 bodies of dead people and I saw more than 50 wounded," one witness said.
Ambulances and police cars converged on the area, and the authorities sealed off the area close to the popular Cinema Musset.
Another explosion was reported last night near Reghaia, about 18 miles east of Algiers. There were reports of injuries and damage.
Earlier the security forces said in a statement carried by the official Algerian news agency APS that 36 people were killed in the village of Sidi Abdelaziz in Medea province, a Muslim guerrilla stronghold, 40 miles south of Algiers.
The killing was the worst in a series of massacres, mostly in remote villages, and bombings in Algiers and surrounding towns in which more than 300 people have died in the past two-and-a-half months.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack, but suspicion fell on Islamic radicals fighting to overthrow the government and install strict Koranic rule.
The security forces blamed the massacre on a "group of terrorists", the term the authorities use to describe Muslim guerrillas in Algeria.
It was the latest example of bloodshed in the North African country which has been wracked by a five-year Islamic insurgency that has claimed at least 60,000 lives. The conflict began in Algeria in January 1992, when the army-backed government cancelled legislative elections that candidates of the Islamic Salvation Front were expected to win.
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Acclaim for retired Australian defence chief Angus Houston who is leading the search for the airliner
South Korea ferry: Four dead and almost 300 missing as mass rescue gets underway
Malaysia Airlines MH370 co-pilot's phone 'was on and made contact with network tower' 30 minutes after plane turned around
Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp told athlete she 'loved him' for first time in Valentine's Day card
Lunar eclipse 2014: Images of the spectacular 'blood moon'
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
- 1 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 2 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 3 Man on a leash in Farringdon, London: Mystery of 'walkies' solved
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower
£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...
£38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...