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Kouchner: Algeria becoming dangerous

June 11, 2008 at 11:14 AM

ALGIERS, Algeria, June 11 (UPI) -- French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says Algerian government inaction makes it hard for French companies to feel safe in Algeria after al-Qaida attacks.

Koucher said Algeria "has become a dangerous country" for French workers and their families. "This is a country where we have to work, where the commercial and friendship links are very strong and must be developed," Med Basin Newsline reported Wednesday.

Koucher's comments came after two June 8 bombings killed 13 people, including an engineer working for the French company Razel, in Beni Amrane, Algeria, 60 miles east of Algiers.

The bombings sent shock waves through the French expatriate community, the news service reported.

Algerian officials have sought to calm Western nerves by pointing out the Beni Amrane bombings marked the first time a French national had been killed in an al-Qaida attack in Algeria in more than a decade. Razel reportedly sent home at least three employees following the bombings.

The French government has not yet called for its nationals to leave Algeria, but Kouchner said they should be cautious and not travel alone, Med Basin Newsline said.

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