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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Algeria bomb targets oil workers

BBC: One man has died and nine others have been injured in a roadside bomb attack beside two buses carrying oil company workers in Algeria.

The dead man was said to be Algerian. The nine hurt included three Britons, an American, a Canadian and a Lebanese.

The buses were carrying employees of Brown & Root Condor, a company linked to US construction giant Halliburton.

The bombing, the second near the Algerian capital in six weeks, took place in Bouchaoui, west of Algiers.

Reports said the first bus was hit by a bomb, possibly thrown towards it from the side of the road, killing the driver, an Algerian.

Witnesses then reported gunfire as the second bus turned and headed away from the scene of the attack, some 10km (6 miles) outside of Algiers.

The gunmen then fled the scene.

Joint venture

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, and Algeria's Interior Ministry said it was investigating the attack.

"An inquiry has been opened to determine the nature and origin of this explosive device," a statement said.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed that three British nationals were injured in the attack, none seriously.

"At this stage, there are no reports of any British fatalities," a spokesman said.

Brown & Root Condor is a joint venture company formed by Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, and an affiliate of Algerian state energy group Sonatrach.

Militant Algerian groups have killed some 150,000 people since 1992, when elections in which an Islamic party was poised to win were cancelled.
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