Nation/World

Violence In Algeria Worst Of Bloody Year Car Bomb Near Cafe Kills 21; Attackers Massacre Villagers

A car bomb exploded Sunday outside a downtown cafe, killing at least 21 people and wounding dozens, just hours after attackers massacred 36 villagers - decapitating some - south of the capital.

Government security force officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they dismantled at least six car bombs Sunday in the Algiers area.

The violence was the worst in what has been a bloody 1997 in this North African country, where a five-year Islamic insurgency has killed at least 60,000.

The car bomb exploded shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday in downtown Algiers, and was powerful enough to be heard across the capital. The government said 21 people were killed and that 30 of the wounded were seriously hurt.

The street was littered with bodies, many covered by sheets borrowed from nearby homes.

In Beni-Slimane, a village 45 miles south of Algiers, attackers killed 36 people in bloodshed that lasted hours, security forces said. The official APS news agency said some victims were decapitated.

It was not clear whether the massacre was late Saturday or early Sunday.

No one claimed responsibility for either attack, but suspicion fell on Islamic radicals fighting to overthrow the government and install a strict Islamic regime.



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