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UN Says Algerians Failed to Respond to Request for Additional Security


A senior U.N. official says Algerian authorities never responded to a request for tighter security for U.N. offices in Algiers that were later hit by a suicide bombing.

The head of the U.N. Development Agency, Kemal Dervis, said U.N. officials submitted a formal request to the Algerian government for road blockades, but no action was taken. The bombing in December destroyed the offices in Algiers and killed at least 37 people, including 17 U.N. staffers.

Al-Qaida's North African wing later claimed responsibility.

The U.N. secretary-general has decided to set up an independent panel to investigate the attack. But Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem has criticized that move, saying the investigation will not be welcome. He said the move was decided without consulting the Algerian government.