Algeria braces for attacks on oil fields

Special to World
Tuesday, November 9, 2004

CAIRO Algeria has warned that its energy sector could be the target of Islamic insurgents.

Algerian security sources said authorities have determined that the nation's crude oil and natural gas sector could come under attack by the Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call. The sources said the alert envisioned an attack on oil and gas facilities during the current Islamic fast month of Ramadan.

The most immediate threat, the sources said, was of an attack on Western workers in Algerian oil and gas fields. They said authorities recently found a large cache of weapons and explosives near Algerian oil fields in Khasi Masoud in the Sahara Desert. The sources said the weapons appeared to have come from neighboring Morocco.

The sources said Western employees at Khasi Masoud have been warned of the prospect of a Salafist car bombing. They said Western contractors were urged to intensify security measures. Despite the Islamic insurgency war, Algiers has managed to protect the nation's energy sector from attack.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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