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Terrorist Attacks In Algeria, Morocco

Recent terrorist attacks in North Africa have killed dozens of people and wounded many more. In Algiers, the capital of Algeria, a suicide bomber blew up explosives-packed car, severely damaging the building housing the prime minister's office. Moments later, a second bomb exploded at a police station in the suburb of Bab Ezzouar. The explosions killed at least twenty-four people and wounded over two-hundred twenty-two others, according to Algeria's official news agency.

In Casablanca, Morocco, four suspected Islamist terrorists and a Moroccan police officer were killed in three separate explosions, a day earlier. Authorities in Casablanca said they were searching for up to ten more potential bombers. Police were already looking for those responsible for an explosion in a Casablanca Internet café in March.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack commented on the attacks:

"These horrific acts indiscriminately killed members of the security services and civilians alike. We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of these atrocities, their families, and the people of Algeria and Morocco. We stand with the Moroccan and Algerian people and their governments in the struggle against extremism and violence, and support their efforts to secure a future of peace. There is no political justification for the murder of innocent lives."

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb -- formerly known as the Salafist Group for Call and Combat until it joined with al-Qaida in September 2006 -- claimed responsibility for both attacks in a statement on the Internet. Mr. McCormack said al-Qaida and al-Qaida affiliates have been active in the past in North Africa, and the organization remains a threat. Its stated aim is to overthrow the government of Algeria and install an Islamic theocracy there and throughout North Africa.

The United States will support the Moroccan and Algerian authorities in their effort to identify those individuals responsible for the recent terrorist attacks. "We want to see them brought to justice," said State Department spokesman McCormack.