PM targeted in deadly Algiers bombings

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At least 23 people have died in two explosions in Algiers this morning.

Over 118 people were injured in an attack on a police station in the east of the Algerian capital, where 12 were killed.

Meanwhile a separate blast hit a government building housing the headquarters of the north African country's prime minister, Abdelaziz Belkhadem. Eleven were killed and 44 were wounded.

"This is a crime, a cowardly act. It can only be described as cowardice and betrayal," the BBC quoted Mr Belkhadem as saying.

"At a time when the Algerian people are asking for national reconciliation and extend their hands, these criminal acts are taking place."

Responsibility for the bombings has been claimed by the recently rebranded main opposition militant group in Algeria, al-Qaida Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb, (AOIM) which before January had called itself the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat.

Algeria has recently emerged from a lengthy spell of civil war and bloody instability, suffering from an extended period of post-colonial conflict.

The AOIM is thought to be one of the remaining militant groups from that era to have refused to lay down its weapons.

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