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18 April 2024

Two killed in suicide attack on Algerian barracks

People gather at the site of a suicide bomb in front of the gate of a government security post in Tadmait, Algiers. (REUTERS)

Published
By AFP

Two people were killed and five others wounded in a suicide attack Saturday on the barracks of Algerian security forces at Tadmait near Tizi Ouzou, east of the capital, witnesses said.

A man tried to enter the barracks and after he was stopped by a guard he detonated a belt of explosives he was wearing, according to witnesses. There was no immediate official statement with details on the attack.

Earlier local press reports said a bomb exploded at the entrance to the barracks about 100 kilometres east of Algiers. The toll was two dead and five wounded, according to the APS news agency, citing a security source. The two dead were identified as a security guard and an elderly passer-by.

The attack targeted the so-called communal guards, a force created in the early 1990s which were marked by violence and a government crackdown on Muslim fundamentalism that left 150,000 people dead, according to official figures. The guards are generally deployed in small towns and are often backed up by paramilitary forces.

In the last attack on February 22, nine security guards were killed when Muslim extremists attacked their local headquarters at Ziama Mansouriah near Jijel, about 360 kilometres east of Algiers. A week later Interior Minister Yazid Erhouni said security forces had killed about 120 armed Islamists since September 1 last year including top ringleaders.

Saturday's attack came just over a month before presidential elections set for April 9 when President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is seeking a third mandate.