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Algerian Security Forces Arrest Militants Linked to Bombings

Algerian authorities have announced the arrest of at least five men suspected of a role in December double suicide car bombings in Algiers that killed 41 people, including at least 17 United Nations employees.

An interior ministry statement Wednesday says the suspects have been handed over to justice officials.

It says security forces killed their leader Abderahmane Bouzegza late last month in Boumerdes, east of Algiers.

Al-Qaida's North African wing claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks, which targeted Algeria's constitutional court and a building housing offices of the U.N. refugee agency and the U.N. Development Program.

Last month, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said an independent panel will investigate the double bombings.

Algerian Islamists rose up against the government in 1992 when it scrapped elections that an Islamic party was poised to win. Some militants allied themselves with al-Qaida in late 2006 and began carrying out larger-scale bombings that included targeting of foreigners.

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