9 dead when suicide bomber rams into police barracks east of Algiers

By Aomar Ouali, AP
Friday, June 11, 2010

9 dead in suicide bombing east of Algiers

ALGIERS, Algeria — A suicide bomber rammed a truck into the barracks of an elite police unit Friday in a village east of the capital, Algiers. At least nine people died, including four police officers and one Chinese worker.

The bombing occurred in the the town of Timizar in the Kabylia region about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the capital along Algeria’s Mediterranean coast, said a local police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity according to his regulations.

The suicide bomber died when he plowed the truck packed with explosives into the barracks. Police shot and killed two suspected terrorists who were following the truck in another vehicle. A civilian was killed as well, the local officer said.

All of the police officers belonged to a rapid reaction unit of the military police, the local police officer said.

Chinese workers are involved in the construction of a highway in the area.

Over the past year violence has escalated in the mountainous and forested terrain of the Kabylia region, where isolated armed hardline Islamic groups have aligned with al-Qaida and staged a series of bombings.

Algeria’s conflict began in 1992 after the army canceled the second round of the country’s first-ever multiparty elections, stepping in to prevent likely victory by the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front, commonly known by its French acronym, FIS.

Islamist armed groups turned to force to overthrow the government, with up to 200,000 people killed in the violence that ensued.

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