ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) Assailants hurled a bomb and fired at two vehicles carrying employees of an affiliate of U.S. company Halliburton near Algiers on Sunday, killing one Algerian driver, witnesses said.
The full extent of the casualties in the attack was not immediately clear.
Nine American employees of BRC, or Brown & Root-Condor, were heading from their offices to a Sheraton Hotel where they are housed in Bouchaoui, 9 miles west of Algiers, when they were attacked. BRC is a joint venture of Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root and Condor Engineering SPA. It has contracts in Algeria's oil and defense industries.
The Americans were in a bus behind a security vehicle carrying two Algerians. The assailants hurled a bomb at the first vehicle, immediately killing the driver and injuring the passenger, the witnesses said.
Attackers then opened fire on the second bus, which quickly turned around and headed back to the BRC offices before the gunmen dispersed. Witnesses said it appeared there were no casualties in the Americans' bus.
Algerian security officials immediately blocked off roads in the area, adjacent to a forest on the Mediterranean coast.
Algeria is trying to pull itself out of an Islamic insurgency that started 14 years ago and has killed an estimated 150,000 people, Islamists, civilians and military.
Large-scale fighting died down in the late 1990s, and Algeria is enjoying the fruits of the oil boom and increased foreign investment, but sporadic violence continues to rattle the nation.
BRC offices could not be reached for comment. Kellogg, Brown & Root is an independent, publicly traded subsidiary of Houston-based oil services contractor Halliburton Co.