Algeria: Near Miss

Emerging from his weekly Cabinet meeting in Algiers' Palais du Gouvernement, Algerian President Houari Bou-mediene climbed into his black Citroën to go to lunch with Minister of State Rabat Bitat. As the car began to roll down the Esplanade de 1'Afrique, a child stepped forward with a petition.

Boumediene had the car stopped and gracefully accepted it. The Citroen had scarcely begun to move again when its windows were suddenly shattered by a burst of machine-gun fire. The bullets missed their target: Boumediene, Bitat and the driver took only superficial cuts from the flying glass. As the car sped away...