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Al-Qaida in North Africa Claims Responsibility for Deadly Blasts in Algiers


Al-Qaida's North African wing has claimed responsibility for two deadly car bomb blasts Tuesday outside U.N. offices and a government building in Algeria's capital.

Algerian government officials say at least 26 people were killed and 177 others wounded in the blasts in Algiers. Hospital officials have put the death toll at more than 60.

Among the dead and wounded are students who were on a school bus near the constitutional court building, the site of one of the explosions.

The blasts destroyed the offices of the U.N. Development Program and damaged the offices of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Algerian Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni says a suicide bomber was responsible for one of the attacks.

A U.N. spokeswoman in New York, Marie Okabe says 11 U.N. staff members are believed to be dead, and others are still missing.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks in the "strongest possible terms."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other European leaders condemned the bombings.

The White House called the blasts a case of "senseless violence" and said they were carried out by "enemies of humanity who attacked the innocent." The U.S. State Department says the United States stands with the government of Algeria, and is ready to provide assistance.

Al-Qaida's North African wing says it carried out Tuesday's bombings in a statement posted on a militant Web site.

Algerian militants linked to al-Qaida have carried out a series of attacks in the country this year, including suicide bombings that killed 33 people in Algiers in April.

Algerian Islamists rose up against the government in 1992 when it scrapped elections that an Islamic party was poised to win.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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