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Fifteen Killed in Suicide Attack in Algeria
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Fifteen people were killed and scores of others wounded in a suicide bombing attack in eastern Algeria on Thursday, local television reported.

The attack took place at the town of Batna, some 450 km east of the capital of Algiers, apparently targeting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who had planned to visit the region.
The bomber who was among the crowd waiting the president detonated the explosives he was carrying before the president arrived, witnesses said.

An initial report put the toll at 11 killed.

The president visited the victim in a hospital and condemned the attack during a speech on television shortly after the bombing. He pledged to continue a national reconciliation program which would grant pardon to Islamic extremists who give up violence.

No individuals or groups have claimed responsibility for the bombing at the time being.

In July, Algerian Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni vowed to continue to fight rebel militant groups in response to a suicide truck bombing that killed eight soldiers southeast of Algiers. Zerhouni said such attacks would never "undermine the determination of security services to fight these groups."

Moreover, two car bomb attacks in April killed 33 people and injured more than 220 in Algiers.

(Xinhua News Agency September 7 2007)

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