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UN Dispatches Investigators to Probe Algeria Bombings

By VOA News
12 December 2007

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent top aides to investigate Tuesday's bombing in the Algerian capital that killed scores of people, including at least 11 U.N. staff members.

In a statement issued in Bali, Indonesia, where he is currently traveling, Mr. Ban strongly condemned the two bombings outside U.N. offices and a government building in Algiers, saying words cannot express his "sense of shock, outrage and anger" at the terrorist attack.

Al-Qaida's North African wing has claimed responsibility for the car bombs.

Algerian government officials say at least 26 people were killed and 177 others wounded. However, an Algerian newspaper, al-Watan, citing medical sources put the death toll at 72.

The offices of the U.N. Development Program and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees were damaged by the blasts.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other European leaders have condemned the bombings.

The White House called the blasts a case of "senseless violence" and said they were carried out by "enemies of humanity who attacked the innocent." The State Department says the United States stands with the government of Algeria, and is ready to provide assistance.

Algerian militants linked to al-Qaida have carried out a series of attacks in the country this year, including suicide bombings that killed 33 people in Algiers in April.

Algerian Islamists rose up against the government in 1992 when it scrapped elections that an Islamic party was poised to win.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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