The Battle of Algiers


At least 62 people were killed today in terrorist attacks around the Algerian capital Algiers, according to reports from the British media (thus far nothing from CNN, MSNBC, et al). Initial reports say that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) was targeted by a suicide bomber and the country's supreme court—or a target in the vicinity—was hit by a powerful car bomb. BBC News has the latest:

At least 62 people have died in two bomb blasts in the Algerian capital, Algiers, officials have said. The first explosion happened in the Ben Aknoun district, near the supreme constitutional court. That was followed shortly afterwards by a second blast at the United Nations offices in the Hydra neighbourhood. A UN worker caught up in the Hydra attack told the BBC that a large part of the building was destroyed and it was feared people were trapped inside. Dozens were wounded in the explosions, officials said.

"These are crimes that targeted innocent people. Students and school children were among the victims. Nothing can justify the crime," he said. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, also condemned the bombings, saying they were "just unacceptable". "I would like to condemn it in the strongest terms. It cannot be justified in any circumstances," he told reporters.

In the attack near the court, a bus packed with university students was passing by the vehicle containing the bomb when it exploded. Security officials said the bus took the full force of the blast and was ripped apart, killing and injuring many of those on board. At the UN offices in Hydra, it was the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) building which bore the brunt of the blast. A residential building and the UNHCR headquarters across the road were also damaged, witnesses said.

The Telegraph has further details and live video from the scene.