Al-Qaida claims responsibility for recent attacks in Algeria

Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa claimed responsibility in an Internet posting Saturday for several recent attacks in Algeria. Saturday's statement claimed responsibility for attacks on June 4, 5 and 8 but offered different casualty figures than those provided by officials. The reason for the differences was not immediately clear. The terrorist group said two French men and eight Algerians were killed in a double bombing on June 8 at the Beni Amrane train station, about 60 miles southeast of the capital Algiers. An Algerian security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on the day of the June 8 bombings that two blasts minutes apart killed 13 people, including a French engineer, his driver, eight soldiers and three firefighters. But in an unusual move, the Algerian Defense Ministry said the next day that only two people, a French citizen and his Algerian chauffeur, were killed in the attacks. Official death tolls are often not made public in Algeria and journalists must rely on security officials not authorized to speak on the record. The French Foreign Ministry declined to comment Saturday about the alleged declaration from al-Qaida that two French men were killed in the June 8 bombings. The ministry previously said that only one French citizen died in the attack.