Al-Qaida Offshoot Claims Algeria Bombing

Posted August 28th, 2011 at 10:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for last week's deadly attack on an Algerian military academy that killed 16 officers in training and two civilians.

The terrorist network's North African wing said in an online statement that two suicide bombers carried out Friday's attack on the prestigious Cherchell Military Academy, west of the capital, Algiers.

The al-Qaida group Sunday called the bombing “a gift for Eid.” The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday this week marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In Friday's attack, two suicide bombers – one on a motorcycle – set off explosions a few seconds apart just outside the military academy.

Algeria is a key U.S. ally in its campaign against al-Qaida. The country is still emerging from nearly two decades of conflict between security forces and Islamist militant groups that killed an estimated 200,000 people.

Violence has diminished significantly over the past few years, but sporadic attacks continue and have increased significantly since July.