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8/09/2007

Twelve killed by 'mini-tsunami' in Algeria

Algeria
Photo: People walk during the sunset at a beach in Algeria, July 2007. A giant wave described by local residents as a "mini-tsunami" claimed the lives of 12 Algerian bathers last week on a beach in the west of the Mediterranean-rim country, officials said Wednesday.(AFP/File/Fayez Nureldine)

ALGIERS (AFP) - A giant wave described by local residents as a "mini-tsunami" claimed the lives of 12 Algerian bathers last week on a beach in the west of the Mediterranean-rim country, officials said Wednesday.

Algeria's civil protection agency could give no official explanation for the giant wave that struck a beach near the town of Mostaganem on Friday.

Loth Bonatiro, a chief research scientist at Algeria's Centre for Research in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Geophysics (CRAAG), said he thought the wave could have been the result of conventional weapons' testing.

The phenomenon "could have been caused by a scientific test and one could guess that it was a scientific test of conventional weapons," he told AFP, adding that France, Italy and Spain all conduct these sorts of tests.

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