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News from Algeria 2006

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  • La semaine du 29 novembre au 5 décembre a été particulièrement meurtrière sur nos routes avec un bilan de 61 morts et 647 blessés établi par la gendarmerie nationale dans 444 accidents. Comparativement avec la semaine précédente, il y a une hausse de deux décès (59 morts), 41 blessés et 30 accidents.

    Les quatre wilayas qui comptent le plus d’accidents sont, dans l’ordre, Alger, Oran, Blida et Batna. Quant aux causes des accidents, c’est toujours le facteur humain qui prédomine où la perte du contrôle du véhicule arrive en tête, suivie de la vitesse excessive, du dépassement dangereux et de la distraction des piétons.

    Toujours selon la gendarmerie nationale, les RN 2, 7, 1 et 4 sont celles qui enregistrent le plus grand nombre d’accidents. Par ailleurs, la direction générale de la sûreté nationale (DGSN) a rendu public hier le bilan des accidents de la route survenus en novembre dans les centres urbains.

    Sur un total de 1,380 accidents, la police a recensé le décès de 73 personnes ainsi que 1,512 blessés. La compilation du nombre de décès entre les chiffres partiels de la gendarmerie nationale et ceux de la DGSN donne 193 morts entre le 1er novembre et le 5 décembre.

    Le nombre des décès dus aux accidents corporels de la route avoisine celui du mois d’octobre, durant lequel 74 morts et 1,705 blessés pour 1,549 accidents ont été enregistrés.

    Accidents de la route : Au moins 193 morts en 45 jours

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    • Algiers, Dec 9, IRNA - - Algerian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Rachid Harraoubia here Friday expressed his country's support for Iran's right to pursue peaceful nuclear energy.

      During a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Algiers Hossein Abdi Abyaneh, Harraoubia highlighted the fact that nuclear energy had scientific and other peaceful uses.

      He said all signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) have the right to nuclear energy and to develop programs to be able to enjoy the various uses of nuclear energy.

      Harraoubia, who is also the Algerian head of the two countries' joint commission, stressed that the right of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy should be officially recognized in the charter of the International Atomic Energy Agency and its rules and regulations.

      He praised the Islamic Revolution in Iran and called for further consolidation of relations with Tehran.

      Referring to his previous visits to Tehran, he said the progress achieved by Iran in various technological fields has come as "a surprise and honor" to the Islamic world, adding that Muslims are the beneficiaries of the achievements of Islamic states.

      During the meeting, Harraoubia and Abdi Abyaneh also discussed avenues for bolstering bilateral scientific cooperation, the idea of opening a Persian-language course at Algeria University in the near future and exchange of university students.

      Algeria backs Iran in nuclear issue

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      • Gunmen opened fire on Um Al Bouaghi court misdemeanour judge, M. Nabil Bouterfa, at 1:00 a.m. on the night of Wednesday to Thursday. He had been kidnapped first, in front of the court.

        Well informed sources said national gendarmerie found the 35-year-old victim’s body on the sidewalk of the trunk road 44, linking Constantine and Annaba, in Wadi Neel district (El Bouni). The dead body was then taken to the morgue of Ibn Rushd teaching hospital in Annaba. A National gendarmerie brigade rushed towards the spot immediately after it had been alerted by a car driver who was subjected to an armed attack by a 6-member group, on the same night, according to him. He speeded up through a false roadblock set up by the armed group, on the road leading to Wadi Neel district, the driver related. He then explained that the group wanted to take over his car after they had an accident.

        Arriving on the scene, the gendarmes found the judge’s dead body 20 meters away from an upside down-car. The judge was shot in the head and the chest. Files and documents were strewn along the street. Gendarmeries’ investigations showed the files were related to cases the victim was in charge of at Um Al Bouaghi court. The killed judge was assigned to theft and drugs-related cases. The same sources said that when Gendarmeries’ agents were inspecting the spot other gendarmes engaged in an armed clash with the concerned group, in an area located at 10 km from the murder scene.

        A heavy armed clash started when the group drove through a security roadblock on Bushi Bridge. Searching operations are carrying on to find the armed group who succeeded in running away.

        Judge shot dead by gunmen in Annaba

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        • Transparency International: Police, political parties and MPs are the most corrupted

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          • ALGIERS, Algeria: Algerian security forces killed four suspected Islamic militants in an overnight clash at a checkpoint in the mountainous northeast, the state news agency reported Saturday.

            Gunmen opened fire on a security officer approaching a car at the checkpoint in the Biskra region, and fellow officers returned fire, the APS agency cited security officials as saying.

            Four militants were killed and one police officer was injured, APS said. Police found a Kalashnikov rifle, an automatic pistol, a grenade and ammunition in the car.

            The unnamed security officials cited by APS said the four militants were involved in the downing of a military helicopter in the Batna region last month, an attack that killed three soldiers and two local guards. Security officials said the same thing about gunmen killed in a clash last week, but neither claim could be verified.

            Algeria is trying to pull itself out of an Islamic insurgency that started 14 years ago and has killed an estimated 150,000 people — Islamists, civilians and military. Large-scale fighting died down in the late 1990s, but sporadic violence continues to rattle the oil-rich North African nation.

            4 suspected Islamic militants killed in clashes with Algerian army

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            • ALGIERS (AFP) - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika called for the need to recognize the role of Palestinian women who are increasingly on the frontline in the conflict with Israel, at the opening of a international conference.

              Bouteflika declared it "a duty to give value to the role of the Palestinian woman, caretaker of the Palestinian identity and protector of the Palestinian family unit," in his address read at the international conference of solidarity with Palestinian women.

              Palestinian women "contribute by sacrificing their lives, sometimes, in the fight against the Israeli occupation, a heroism that they demonstrate daily in their efforts to provide a decent life and education for their children," he added.

              The women's accounts of what is happening in the Palestinian territories give witness to the "distress and dismay of the Palestinian people," he said.

              The conference was organized by the Algerian workers party (PT), which said a report of the situation of Palestinian workers and conditions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank will be presented at the gathering.

              Solidarity with Palestinian women was linked inexorably with the push for a sovereign and independent Palestinian state, said Bouteflika.

              The Palestinian representative in Algeria, Ahmed Abderrezak El Selmane, added to that view, saying an international conference of all parties concerned in the conflict should be held "to find a definitive and durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

              Algerian leader hails role of Palestinian women

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              • ALGIERS, Dec 10 (KUNA) -- Chairperson of Lebanese Parliamentary Committee on Arab and International Relations Hayam Sherif said here on Sunday Kuwait was the first country that offered humanitarian relief to the Lebanese people during and after the recent war.

                On the fringe of the ongoing symposium in Algiers on solidarity with Palestinian women, Sherif told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) the Kuwaiti brothers were by no means selfish at any time and offered material assistances to save the Lebanese people.

                "It was not unusual for the Kuwaiti people to offer generous assistance to Lebanon and other sisterly Arab, and friendly foreign, countries," she added.

                She noted that she left Lebanon in "a state of ecstasy, yet wounded, after winning the last war against the Israeli forces." Lebanon is weary due to conflicts and foreign interferences in its internal affairs, she added, expressing hope that for better future for her country.

                As for Lebanese women, Sherif said women and children were the first victims of any conflicts or economic difficulties.

                Women in south Lebanon backed the Lebanese resistance forces and supplied the fighters with food and drink, thus proving a great patriotism, she explained.

                On the status of Kuwaiti women, Sherif noted that they took big strides in various fields, took over high level posts and ran for the parliamentary elections for the first time in Kuwait history.

                "The Kuwaiti woman proved her eligibility and steadfastness in achieving this step that was a 40 year old demand," she underscored.

                As for Iraqi and Palestinian women, Sherif said they and Lebanese women have something in common, namely defending their countries against foreign occupation. They have to follow the example of Algerian women who played a heroic role in liberating their country after 130 years of French occupation, she pointed out.

                The Algerian National People's Council launched the International Symposium for Solidarity with Palestinian Women on Saturday.

                The three-day event, organized by the Algerian Action Party, gathers 90 figures from 46 Arab and foreign countries.

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                • ALGIERS, Algeria: Assailants hurled a bomb and fired at two vehicles carrying employees of a subsidiary of U.S. company Halliburton near Algiers on Sunday, killing one Algerian driver, witnesses said.

                  The full extent of casualties was unclear.

                  Nine American employees of BRC, or Brown & Root-Condor, were heading from their offices to a Sheraton Hotel where they are housed in Bouchaoui, 15 kilometers (9 miles) west of Algiers, when they were attacked. Sunday is a working day in this North African country.

                  The Americans were in a bus following behind a security vehicle that held two Algerians. The assailants hurled a bomb at the first vehicle, immediately killing the driver and injuring the passenger, the witnesses said.

                  Attackers then opened fire on the second bus, which quickly turned around and headed back to the BRC offices before the gunmen dispersed. Witnesses said it appeared there were no casualties in the Americans' bus.

                  Algerian security officials immediately blocked off roads in the area, adjacent to a forest on the Mediterrannean coast.

                  Algeria is trying to pull itself out of an Islamic insurgency that started 14 years ago and has killed an estimated 150,000 people — Islamists, civilians and military. Large-scale fighting died down in the late 1990s, and Algeria is enjoying the fruits of the oil boom and increased foreign investment, but sporadic violence continues to rattle the nation.

                  BRC offices could not be reached for comment. BRC is a joint venture between Halliburton's Brown & Root and Condor Engineering SPA with contracts in Algeria's oil and defense industries.

                  Buses carrying employees from U.S. company in Algeria attacked

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                  • SANA'A, Dec. 10(Saba)- A delegation from al-Shura Council headed on Sunday to Algiers.

                    The delegation is headed by the Environment and Tourism Committee, Abdul-Hamid al-Haddi.

                    In a statement to Yemen News Agency, al-Haddi said that the week-long visit aims to getting benefits from the Algerian dual parliament experience, Al-Umah and Al-Sha'ab councils, in addition to developing relations between Yemen and Algiers in field of economy, culture, diplomacy and investment.

                    "The delegation will introduce Yemen's democratic experience to Algerian officials," he said, indicating that the delegation is conveying a written message from Yemeni Shura Council's head, Abdulaziz Abdul-Ghani to Algerian Al-Umah Council's head regarding the bilateral relations between the two councils as well as enhancing and developing them.

                    Shura Council's delegation heads to Algeria

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                    • These reports relating to the article about the incident above provide conflicting details:

                      ALGIERS, Dec 10 (Reuters) - A roadside bomb exploded beside a bus near Algiers on Sunday, killing one person and wounding four in an upmarket suburb favoured by foreign oil executives and Algerian government officials, residents said.

                      The bombing, the second near the capital in six weeks, happened late in the afternoon 10 km (six miles) west of the Mediterranean port city in the Bouchaoui district, which is home to several Western and Asian expatriates, residents said.

                      Police immediately sealed off the scene.

                      "I was in a bus when a I heard a big explosion. Then we heard gunfire," Mohammed Aziouz, an 18-year-old student travelling in another bus nearby at the time, told Reuters.

                      "A moment passed. And then police wearing 'Ninja' balaclava hoods entered our bus and started checking identity papers. Those who didn't have them were taken out for verification. The smell of (explosive) powder was very intense."

                      Reporters who later approached the residential and tourist area, which houses a luxury hotel and the homes of some senior government officials, heard two explosions. Residents said they appeared to be the result of work by bomb disposal teams, but there was no immediate confirmation of that.

                      Witnesses saw a police forensic team wearing white overalls enter the area.

                      One resident said the bus had been carrying Chinese workers. That report could not be immediately confirmed and police could not immediately be contacted for comment on the incident.....

                      Bombing near Algiers kills one - residents

                      ALGIERS, Dec 10 (Reuters) - A roadside bomb attack on a bus near Algiers on Sunday killed an Algerian and wounded nine people, including four Britons, two Lebanese, an American, an Algerian and a Canadian, the official APS news agency said.

                      The agency said police were trying to establish the nature and origin of what it called the makeshift device. The Algerian who was killed was the bus driver. One of the Lebanese was seriously wounded, the agency said.

                      Four Britons, American among wounded by Algiers bomb

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                      • An International conference on solidarity with Palestinian women began Saturday (December 9th) in Algiers. Addressing the conference, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika called for recognizing the role of Palestinian women who sacrifice their lives in the effort to provide a decent life and education for their children amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The event - organized by the Algerian workers party - reviewed a report of the situation of Palestinian workers and conditions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Palestinian representative in Algeria, Ahmed Abderrezak El Selmane said that an international conference of all parties concerned in the conflict should be held "to find a definitive and durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict".

                        International conference of solidarity with Palestinian women held in Algiers

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                        • One killed and 9 wounded

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                          • ALGIERS (Reuters) - The United States embassy urged Americans in Algeria to check their personal security on Monday after a bus carrying foreign oil workers was bombed in the first attack on Western expatriates in many years.

                            A Warden Notice for the estimated 800 U.S. expatriates said the embassy in the oil- and gas-exporting north African nation would be open for normal business "but is encouraging Americans in Algiers to review their security situation.

                            "The Embassy will limit movements on December 11 to official business only while evaluating the situation."

                            An existing U.S. travel warning says there is a significant security risk in many areas of Algeria, Africa's second largest country which is slowly pulling itself out of 14 years of conflict between Islamist rebels and government forces.

                            Sunday's attack in the upmarket Bouchaoui district, 10 km (six miles) west of Algiers, killed the Algerian driver and wounded nine people, including four Britons and an American, authorities said.

                            Some expatriate oil executives said they would step up security as a result of the late afternoon attack.

                            Residents said the bus was ferrying employees of Brown Root Condor, a joint venture of Halliburton subsidiary Kellog, Brown and Root and Condor Engineering, an affiliate of Algerian state energy group Sonatrach.

                            A security source said the authorities were working on two hypotheses.

                            "If it is terrorism, that would indicate that the affiliate of Halliburton has been targeted for its role in Iraq. It has been seen as a firm that has hoarded Iraqi riches," the source said.

                            "If it is criminality, that would mean that the local mafia wants to block the opening of the economy and economic transparency. This mafia wants the status quo and to preserve monopoly situations."

                            The government is trying to modernize the country's Soviet-style command economy, long dominated by loss-making state banks notorious for mismanagement, graft and inefficiency.

                            The bombing took place in a heavily protected neighborhood that is home to some government ministers as well as the Sheraton Hotel, where several foreign firms have their offices.....

                            U.S. reviews security after Algeria bombing

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                            • Près de 90 % des aéroports algériens sont déficitaires, soit * peine 4 sur les 36 existants, selon le directeur général de l’Etablissement de gestion des services aéroportuaires (EGSA) d’Alger, M. Boultif. En outre, 5 aéroports seulement sont en conformité avec les normes internationales.

                              Intervenant hier au forum d’El Moudjahid, M. Boultif a déclaré que seulement deux aéroports remplissent, * la fois, les exigences de rentabilité et de conformité aux normes de constructions internationales. Il s’agit de l’aéroport d’Alger et de Hassi Messaoud.

                              Parmi les autres aéroports considérés rentables figurent également ceux de Hassi R’mel et de Béjaïa. «Tous les autres sont déficitaires», a déclaré M. Boultif, en précisant toutefois que ce déficit «n’est pas énorme» et est imputable * la faiblesse du trafic dans certaines régions, d’où l’intérêt «d’envisager une adéquation entre les services aériens et les besoins d’une région».

                              Un état des lieux effectué en 2003 a révélé que la construction des aéroports a souvent été réalisée sans que soient pris en considération les besoins des régions en trafic aérien. M. Boultif a, par ailleurs, fait savoir que seuls 5 aéroports répondent aux normes internationales du fait que leur réalisation a été confiée * des professionnels.

                              Il s’agit, outre les aéroports d’Alger et de Hassi Messaoud, de ceux de Ghardaïa, de Touggourt et d’In Guezzam. Les aéroports algériens doivent être «modernisés» et «mis * niveau», et la stratégie de développement du secteur, qui s’étend jusqu’en 2025, prend en compte ces préoccupations.

                              Une stratégie qui sera axée sur «la séparation, dans la gestion des aéroports, entre l’Etat en tant que puissance publique et le rôle commercial de l’EGSA». M. Boultif a indiqué que le cas de l’aéroport d’Alger qui a été érigé en EPIC et dont la gestion est assurée par le groupe français Aéroport de Paris, pourrait être étendu aux autres aéroports du pays.

                              Ce contrat va «valoriser l’investissement national et nous permettra de bénéficier d’un transfert de savoir-faire et d’atteindre des indicateurs de performances et de rentabilité», a-t-il précisé. Quant aux travailleurs de l’EGSA qui ont été transférés vers cette nouvelle filiale, M. Boultif a tenu * les rassurer en affirmant qu’il «n’y aura pas de compression de personnel».

                              A propos de l’aéroport d’Alger qui représente 64 % du trafic passager national et 90 % du trafic international, M. Boultif a indiqué que «c’est l’un des plus sûrs au monde après avoir été soumis * plusieurs audits d’experts de l’aviation civile internationale (OACI) et ceux des compagnies aériennes internationales présentes en Algérie qui renouvellent annuellement leurs audits».

                              Au vu du développement du trafic, M. Boultif a estimé que l’Algérie devrait s’inscrire dans la logique de la baisse des taxes aéroportuaires pour attirer les compagnies étrangères. En 2007, il est, en effet, prévu en Algérie une hausse de 6 % du trafic international et de 2 % du trafic national.

                              Le même responsable a fait savoir qu’avant la fin de cette année, un opérateur de renommée internationale fera son entrée dans le domaine de l’assistance en escale. Il s’agit du suisse Swissport qui a été sélectionné après la promulgation d’un décret autorisant l’intervention dans ce domaine d’opérateurs privés et après le lancement d’un appel d’offres international.

                              Enfin, le conférencier a fait savoir que l’aéroport de Béjaïa, fermé pour des travaux de réfection, reprendra son activité d’ici le mois de juin 2007.

                              Seulement 4 aéroports nationaux sur 36 sont rentables

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                              • Attacks in Algeria prompt concerns for safety of foreigners

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