Algerian Official: Terrorists Responsible for U.N. Bombing Arrested

Algerian security services have dismantled the terror group behind a pair of homicide bombings that killed 37 people, including 17 U.N. workers, Algeria's interior minister said Thursday.

The Dec. 11 bombings struck U.N. offices and a government building in the Algerian capital, Algiers. They were the most serious of a recent wave of attacks signaling that Islamic fighters are regrouping in the North African country.

Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni told The Associated Press that two suspects in the homicide attacks were killed and another two arrested. He did not give details.

"Security services on Monday dismantled the network that organized and planted the bombs at the headquarters of the Constitutional Council and U.N. headquarters in Algiers," he said on the sidelines of a meeting in Tunisia of ministers from Arab countries.

The Algerian daily el-Watan, citing security officials, reported Tuesday that police had arrested four people in Boumerdes, east of Algiers, who were allegedly involved in planning the bombings. They were said to be preparing a new Algiers attack.

The newspaper also said a man described as a leader of the group in the Algiers area had been killed in an ambush.

Al Qaeda's North African affiliate claimed responsibility for the December bombings. The attacks raised concerns that Al qaeda in Islamic North Africa is intent on reviving a low-simmering insurgency that has wracked Algeria since 1992.

The Islamic insurgency began after the army canceled the second round of Algeria's first multiparty elections to block a likely victory by a now-banned Muslim fundamentalist party. As many as 200,000 people are estimated to have died in the violence.