CAIRO, Egypt, (AP) – The North African branch of al-Qaeda claimed responsibility Friday for a devastating pair of attacks in Algeria that killed at least 55 people, in a statement carried by an Arab news station.
In an audio statement, a spokesman for the group, Salah Abu Mohammed, described the attacks on a police academy and a Canadian engineering firm as retaliation against security forces for their crackdown on militants. The statement was aired on Al-Jazeera television.
On Tuesday, a suicide bomber rammed a car full of explosives into a line of applicants waiting to register at a police academy, killing 43 in the town of Les Issers.
Twin attacks at dawn Wednesday killed another 12 in the neighboring town of Bouira. The 12 were Algerian employees of a Canadian engineering and construction firm, SNC-Lavalin.
Abu Mohammed insisted in his audio statement that his group does not target civilians.
There was no way to authenticate Friday’s message but in the past militant groups have delivered responsibility claims via Al-Jazeera.