Monday, March 22, 2004

The assasination capital of the world

About 6 years ago en route to visit the Polosario refugee camps in Southern Algeria on a UNISON delegation, we had the dubious pleasure of spending three days in Algiers. It really is the most frightening place to visit. There have been well over 100,000 assainations in Algeria over the last 15 years and we were effectively placed under armed guard and 'house arrest' in the hotel for the duration, (for our own good, I might add). On the one occasion we ventured out we were accompanied by members of the SAS in armed jeeps. Our journey, less than half a mile, took us for a meal at the British Embassy, where the ambassador welcomed us to what he described as "the most heavily guarded British Embassy in the world" where soldiers armed with machine guns were positioned discreetly within the grounds. This is all brought back to me by the news that the Embassy has had to be relocated as it is thought to be a likely target for al-Quaeda.