Algeria detains 11 over attack on president-report

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ALGIERS, Oct 3 (Reuters) Algerian authorities have detained 11 people on suspicion of involvement in a failed assassination attempt against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, a local daily said today.

An investigating judge ordered the detentions on Monday after the 11 were arrested in connection with a September 6 bomb attack that killed at least 22 people waiting to greet Bouteflika, Le Quotidien d'Oran added, citing judiciary sources.

Al Qaeda's North Africa wing, Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb, claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing targetting Bouteflika in the eastern town of Batna, the paper added.

The independent daily gave no further details including the charges or the date of a possible trial.Government officials were not immediately available for comment.

Violence in Algeria broke out in 1992 after the then military-backed authorities, fearing an Iran-style revolution, scrapped a parliamentary election that an Islamist political party, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), was set to win.

Up to 200,000 people have been killed in the ensuing bloodshed although the violence has subsided sharply in recent years.

REUTERS SKB RAI1958

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