Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) refuted claims that it had targeted civilians in a new 22:04 minute video featuring a statement by the group's media official Salah Abu Mohammed. In the statement entitled "Who are the killers of the innocent?" and dated Sept. 2, Abu Mohammed denied government's accusations that the group has been targeting innocent civilians in the recent wave of suicide attacks that hit provinces situated east of the capital Algiers in the past few weeks. He reminded his audience of the warning issued by the group's leader Abu Mus'ab Abdel Wadoud for Algerians to stay away from government buildings and foreign institutions. Abu Mohammed also denounced what he said were systematic torture practices by security services throughout the Maghreb countries and said that some of the attacks deliberately targeting civilians may have been organized by security forces in order to damage the image of the militants in the eyes of the public.
(Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb )