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Advanced Article Archive: Terror Attacks - Africa
Terror Analysis: Series of Terror Attacks in Algeria

09.06.08

At least 13 people, most of them firefighters and soldiers, were killed in a terror attack at a train station in Lakhdaria, east of Algeria's capital Algiers. Two bombs rocked the train station, while the second one exploded as security forces and rescue workers arrived at the scene. Both devices appeared to be remote-controlled.

This is the third terror attack to hit Algeria in less than a week, in what can only be seen as a joint effort by Islamic militants in the country. On Wednesday, two bombs exploded near Algiers, one detonated by a suicide bomber wounding six people while the other caused no casualties. A day later, a roadside bomb killed six soldiers in the city of Boumerdes.

So far, there has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks, but it seems likely that "Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb" (AQIM, formerly known as the GSPC) is behind them. While the group has been active for years in Algeria, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of terror attacks since it vowed allegiance to Al-Qaeda in late 2006. As a result, there has also been a change in the targets of the attacks, which not only include military and government facilities but also civilian areas as seen by the latest attacks this week.

As AQIM continues to grow and execute terror attacks in Algeria and other North African countries, it seems only a matter of time before its activity expands beyond those regions, possibly to Europe, where the group is known to have links in the Muslim communities.
 

  

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