The significance of December 11 in Algeria
Filling in a little history for those of you keeping score at home.
December 11, 1960 was a turning point in the war for independence from Algeria's former colonial ruler, France. Huge pro-independence protests broke out that day during a visit by France's then-president, Gen. Charles de Gaulle. Algerians mark the anniversary every year, recalling brutality by French forces who cracked down on young demonstrators.
The government building struck Tuesday is on a street named for the date: December 11, 1960 Boulevard.
Analysts say Islamic militants likely were signaling their anger at the Algerian government's cooperation with France and Europe. French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Algeria just last week. Louis Caprioli, a former assistant director of France's DST counterintelligence agency who now works for the risk-management company Geos, said references to pro-independence demonstrations were "a way of saying to those who are in power today, 'you are betraying the glorious combatants of our revolution.'"
Posted by: Seafarious 2007-12-13