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Terror on Independence Day

It's Independence Day... the anniversary of a nation's birth as a sovereign state, free from its colonial rulers. People celebrate across the land. Suddenly, in the middle of a busy market area, a bomb explodes. Some 35 people die, as many again are reported injured. Three other bombs explode around the country - thankfully no one is killed by those.

It's Independence Day... July 5, 2002... in Algeria. The fortieth anniversary of Algeria's independence from France. The violence is believed to be part of a continuing campaign by militant forces, possibly the Armed Islamic Group.

The conflict began a decade ago when a parliamentary election was cancelled through military intervention when the Islamic Salvation Front looked certain to take office.

In the decade since, more than 100,000 Algerians have died in the conflict between the military and the extremists. Even in 2002, when the violence has not been as concerted, more than 800 people have been killed so far, including those on that tragic Independence Day attack on the markets in Larba.

You might not have heard about this incident... few media outlets in the West gave it much attention, though it did make lead story on BBC World for a while on Friday, even despite the lack of vision from the scene. Far greater attention, it seems, was being paid to the gunman who went beserk at LA International Airport on America's Independence Day 24 hours earlier.