Algeria
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Royal Palace: Saudi Crown Prince Goes to Algeria, Test Results 'Reassuring'

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz went to Algeria for a vacation after the results of medical tests he underwent in the United States were "reassuring," the royal palace announced on Wednesday.

Prince Nayef, the kingdom's veteran internal security czar, "has finished previously scheduled medical tests in (the U.S. city of) Cleveland with reassuring results," said the statement carried by state news agency SPA.

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50 Years on, Algeria War Resonates in French Election

Fifty years after losing the Algerian war, France is still suffering fallout from a conflict that shamed its armed forces and fuels bitter political rows even in its latest election battle.

Though French officials are keen to play down the 50th anniversary on March 18 of the ceasefire that ended the conflict, the war's legacy has reared its head in the run-up to France's April-May two-round presidential vote.

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Death Sentence in Absentia for Qaida's North Africa Chief

An Algerian court sentenced the head of al-Qaida's north African offshoot to death in his absence Tuesday for a string of 2007 attacks, including the deadly bombing of the prime minister's office.

Abdelmalek Droukdel, leader of al-Qaida in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM), and eight co-defendants were sentenced to death for premeditated murder, membership of a terrorist group and attacks using explosives, said judge Tayeb Hillali of the court in Algiers.

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Algerian Opposition Party Elects New Chief

Algeria's opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy elected its spokesman Mohcine Belabbas as its new leader Saturday at a conference in the capital.

Founder-member Said Sadi, 65, had announced on Friday that he was standing down from the leadership "to make way for young people".

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Algerian PM Vows to Eradicate Terrorism

Algeria's prime minister vowed on Sunday to eradicate terrorism, a day after a suicide bomber crashed an explosives-laden car into a police station in the remote Algerian desert.

Twenty-three people were injured and the attacker killed in Saturday's blast in Tamanrasset, 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) south of Algiers, in what was the first attack of its kind in that part of the country.

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Qaida Offshoot Claims Algeria Attack

An al-Qaida splinter group claimed Saturday to have carried out a suicide attack on a military base in southern Algeria which left 24 people wounded.

"We inform you that we are behind the explosion that occurred this morning at Tamanrasset," a message sent to Agence France Presse and signed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa said.

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Clinton Urges Syrian Troops to 'Put Their Country First'

There is "every possibility" that Syria could descend into a civil war which could be worsened by foreign intervention, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the BBC on Sunday.

"I think that there's every possibility of a civil war. Outside intervention would not prevent that -- it would probably expedite it," Clinton said in an interview conducted in Rabat, Morocco.

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Clinton Lands in Algeria for Reform, Counter-Terrorism Talks

The people of north Africa's Maghreb region "need and deserve" to determine their own future, U.S. Secretary State Hillary Clinton said in Algeria Saturday, ahead of elections there in May.

Clinton was speaking during a brief visit to the country a day after attending a "Friends of Syria" international gathering in neighboring Tunisia, and hours before flying on to Morocco.

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Reports: Algeria Finds Cache of Missiles near Libya Border

Algeria has uncovered a large cache of weapons believed to originate from Libya, including dozens of shoulder-held missiles that can be used to shoot down airliners, newspapers said Monday.

According to the French-speaking el-Watan, 15 SA-24 and 28 SAM-7 Russian-made man-portable surface-to-air missiles were found at a location in the southern desert called In Amenas.

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Four Dead in Bomb Attack on Bus in Algeria

A roadside bomb blast killed four people and injured 10 other passengers on a bus east of the Algerian capital on Sunday, local news websites reported.

A security source confirmed the blast to AFP but did not give a toll or say whether the victims were civilians or military.

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