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Wednesday, July 27, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Suspected Al Qaida cell from Algeria kills Moroccan border guard

CAIRO — Tensions have again risen between Algeria and Morocco.


Officials said the border between Algeria and Morocco has been tense in late July. They said at least one Moroccan Border Guard officer was killed in an attack from neighboring Algeria on Morocco's eastern province of Jerada.

"The four armed individuals came from the Algerian territory and introduced themselves as Algerian holy warriors to a Moroccan citizen in Oulad Amer village, near Touisit Boubker in the province of Jerada, with the aim of getting food supplies," the Moroccan Interior Ministry said.

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The ministry said the attack by the suspected Al Qaida cell took place on July 21. The attackers were said to have fled back to Algeria.

"After the shooting, the armed intruders succeeded in fleeing toward Algerian territory, leaving behind traces of blood," the ministry said on July 22.

This marked the first attack on Morocco from Algeria in 2011. Officials said Algeria has rejected formal requests for cooperation in counter-insurgency amid the expansion of operations by Al Qaida Organization in the Islamic Maghreb.

Officials said Morocco has reinforced security along its border with Algeria amid the revolt in Libya. They said the North African kingdom has been closely monitoring the flow of weapons from the Libyan military to AQIM, based in Algeria, Mauritania and Mali.

Algeria has also rejected Moroccan proposals for the reopening of their border. In 1994, Morocco closed its border with Algeria following an Islamic insurgency strike in Marrakesh, blamed on the Algerian regime.

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