Algerians, World Scoff at Terror Blasts

While the world reacted with horror to a twin suicide bombing that rocked the Algerian capital on Wednesday, April 11, Algerians were rocked to the bones fearing a resurgence of violence that haunted their country in the 1990s.

Algerians, World Scoff at Terror Blasts
While the world reacted with horror to a twin suicide bombing that rocked the Algerian capital on Wednesday, April 11, Algerians were rocked to the bones fearing a resurgence of violence that haunted their country in the 1990s.

"I thought explosions in Algiers were over," Leila Aissaoui, 25, told Reuters in tears standing near the government palace.

At least 12 people were killed and 135 others wounded when a bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a guard post outside the government headquarters in Algiers on Wednesday.

"Algeria has never seen such a powerful explosion," said a government employee, a bandage covering a head wound. "I cannot understand the message."

Minutes later, bombers driving two cars triggered explosions in the eastern suburb of Bab Ezzouar, killing another 12 people and injuring 87 others.

The self-declared Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the bombings.

The attacks raised fears the north African oil exporter was slipping back into the intense political violence of the 1990s.

"The Algiers attacks have woken the demons of a violence that we have believed had been contained," wrote Liberte daily.

Algeria descended into a bloody and vicious cycle of violence in early 1992 after the then military-backed government annulled the results of the legislative polls in which the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was set to secure a landslide victory.

The authorities then disbanded the Islamic movement and unleashed a crackdown on its members, triggering a bloody armed conflict that lingered on for several years, claiming the lives of some 200,000 people, mostly civilians.

That violence subsided in recent years following amnesties for the militants.

Terrorism

The bloody attacks would haunt many Algerians for years.

One man recalled a breezy greeting by a policeman guarding the government premises in the cool of the spring morning as employees arrived for work.

"I will keep in my memory the image of a policeman who said 'Good Morning' to me at the palace gate a few minutes before the explosion," he told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"He was killed. God's blessings on him."

Tahar bin Taleb, who was buying clothes for his baby daughter when the first bomb went off, was speechless.

"This is a disaster," said the 41-year-old.

"This is international terrorism. It signals great danger ahead for southern Europe and north Africa."

On the eastern outskirts, near the new international airport, a second bomb left residents shocked and fearful.

"I was about to leave home when I heard a big explosion. My ears are still hurting," said Soraya, a 26-year-old pharmacist.

"Then I saw the smoke above the roof of the police station. The smell of the powder is still present. I saw people running away -- a big panic."

World Condemns

The twin bombings provoked widespread world condemnation.

Malaysia, the current chair of the Organization of Islamic Conference, denounced the attacks.

Foreign Minister Syed Hamaid Albar said Islam was against violence and those who follow the true teaching of Islam would not resort to violence.

Turkey also condemned the blasts, reiterating its call to lead for an international battle against terrorism.

"Turkey condemns the terrorist attacks which targeted innocent people in Algeria and reiterates its call to lead a joint struggle against terrorism," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Arab league Secretary General Amr Mussa condemned the attacks as acts of terrorism.

The Iranian government also called the attacks "inhuman and hideous".

The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar also denounced the attacks in separate statements.

"The United States condemns the terrorist attacks," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

"These horrific acts indiscriminately killed members of the security services and civilians alike."

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his "sorrow and indignation" over the attacks.

"This criminal act of terrorism once again confirms that terrorism has no ethnic or religious identity and is one of the greatest challenges the entire international community faces today."

In Brussels, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana branded the attacks as "odious and cowardly acts."

French President Jacques Chirac condemned the "terrible attacks" in a message of solidarity to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said in a telegram to Bouteflika that he "was profoundly moved by the terrible news of the tragic terrorist attacks perpetrated today in Algiers."
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
YORUM EKLE