- Title: SWITZERLAND: UNCHR shocked by twin blasts in Algiers
- Date: 12th December 2007
- Summary: (BN10) GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (DECEMBER 11, 2007) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR) HEADQUARTERS IN GENEVA
- Embargoed: 27th December 2007 12:00
- Location: Switzerland
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVABA7ZOCG3IL4U7W0L9P1QD27AO
- Story Text: Two car bombs, believed to be the work of al Qaeda's North Africa arm, rip through Algiers near two United Nations offices killing at least 47 people.
Two United Nations offices - the United nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) were targeted by two car bombs in Algiers on Tuesday (December 11), the second attack in eight months on the north African OPEC member country.
U.N. officials were trying to track down staff members who were in the area at the time of the blasts.
"â€¦We're trying to be in contact as much as possible with our people on the ground, but it's very difficult, we know that there were two bombs, one bomb exploded between the UNHCR building and the UNDP building in a little road in Algiers this morning at 9.30. It has affected both buildings, we don't know yet anything about injuries, casualties, but we are trying to find more information about our staff, we haven't accounted for all our staff yet, and until we do, we don't know all the information, we know it had a great impact", UNHCR's senior media officer Astrid Van Genderen Stort said, unable to give any details about how many U.N. staff members were affected by the bombing.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but according to accounts on the ground, it appeared the work of al Qaeda's north Africa wing, which claimed a similar bombing in downtown Algiers in April and other blasts east of the capital over the summer that have worried foreign investors.
The second explosion occurred near the Constitutional Court building in Algiers.
Algeria, a major gas supplier to Europe, is recovering from more than a decade of violence that began in 1992 when the then army-backed government scrapped elections a radical Islamic party was poised to win. Tens of thousands of people died in the unrest.
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