An assassination attempt on the president. From Agence France-Presse:
ALGIERS – A suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured 107 in an assassination bid against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in northeastern Algeria, state radio said on Friday.
Bouteflika appeared on television soon after Thursday”s bomb attack near a mosque in the city of Batna to denounce the “criminals” and vow to pursue his national reconciliation policy.
National television had earlier put the death toll at 15, with 74 wounded in the latest bomb attack in the north African nation, which is still recovering from a civil war in the 1990s that left more than 150,000 dead.
The explosion killed and injured people in a crowd awaiting a visit by the president in the centre of Batna and witnesses quoted by the television said the bomb was hidden in a plastic bag.
The attacker was discovered by the crowd and triggered the blast before the presidential cortege arrived in that part of the city. Authorities did not identify the killer or say whether he was among the dead.
It was the closest that a suicide bomber has come to the president, who on Friday planned to attend the funeral of victims and go on touring the Batna region, rather than returning to Algiers as planned.