- - Sunday, August 28, 2011

ALGERIA

Al Qaeda claims attack on military academy

ALGIERS — Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb took responsibility Sunday for the attack on a military academy in Algeria that killed at least 18 people, including 16 officers in training.

Al Qaeda’s North African wing said in a statement posted online that two suicide bombers carried out Friday’s attack on the Cherchell military academy, 110 miles west of the capital, Algiers.

The defense ministry said the attack killed 16 officers and two civilians, and wounded 26 others. The terrorists said they killed 36 officers and wounded 35.

The group called the attack “the Eid gift for the Algerian families of the martyrs and the prisoners.” Friday was the 27th day of the holy month of Ramadan, a sacred day in the Muslim calendar when the devout say that their prayers go directly to God.

The three-day holiday Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan this week.

PAKISTAN

Karachi faces tension after resignation

ISLAMABAD — A ruling party minister in Pakistan’s violence-plagued city of Karachi resigned Sunday, charging that the city’s largest political party was behind the bloodshed, allegations that could spark more trouble.

Holding a copy of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, Zulfiqar Mirza accused the powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement of being responsible for kidnapping, extortion and violence that have killed more than 400 people since July. He also accused the party of killing journalist Wali Khan Babar earlier this year.

“I am saying it openly that they killed him,” he said at a news conference televised live across the country.

Muttahida officials were not available for comment about the unusually blunt accusations.

Muttahida and other political parties, including the one that Mr. Mirza represented, have denied any links to the violence.

NIGERIA

U.N. building’s bombing undercuts security claim

ABUJA — Two top U.N. officials offered conflicting views Sunday on the safety of its Nigeria headquarters after a suicide car bombing there.

U.N. security chief Gregory Starr acknowledged that safety features “could have been better” to stop the speeding sedan loaded with explosives. Only hours later, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told journalists that the building had “really, really tight” security.

A suicide bomber rammed through two gates to reach the U.N. building’s glass reception hall. There, the bomber detonated explosives powerful enough to bring down parts of the concrete structure and blow out glass windows from other buildings in the neighborhood filled with diplomatic posts.

EGYPT

Delegation to visit Libya for talks with rebels

CAIRO — A senior Egyptian diplomat will lead a delegation to Libya this week to offer help to its new rulers, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported Sunday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ayman al-Mashrafa said Egypt is ready to help its neighbor rebuild after six months of civil war and will assist it in areas such as health, education and mine clearance, the ministry said.

Egypt had about 1.5 million migrant workers in Libya before the revolt against Col. Moammar Gadhafi broke out in the eastern city of Benghazi.