Source AP ©

Explosion thunders outside Algerian police housing

An explosion shattered an Algerian police housing, wounding eight people.

The attack came as tensions ran high following two deadly terrorist attacks last week by al-Qaida's North Africa affiliate targeting Algerian officialdom.

The latest explosion hit in the town of Zemmouri, 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Algiers, at about 17:30 (1630 GMT), residents said. The wounded were sent to the nearby hospital in Borj Menaiel.

Eight people were wounded, and two of them were in serious condition, said a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The bomb was hidden in a bag and placed at the entrance to the police housing compound, adjacent to an open-air market, the official said.

On Saturday, a car bombing killed 28 coast guard officers in the town of Dellys south of Algiers. Two days earlier, at least 22 people were killed when a bomb ripped through a crowd waiting for the president in eastern Algeria.

Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, the new name for a group long known as the GSPC, has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

The group has carried out a spate of recent bombings that have shattered the Algerian government's efforts to restore calm after 15 years of Islamist insurgency.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's government - a U.S. ally in fighting terrorism - has responded by intensifying military crackdowns on Islamic militants hiding out in remote scrubland.

Algeria's insurgency broke out in 1992 after the army canceled elections that a now-banned Islamic party was poised to win. Up to 200,000 people were killed in the ensuing violence.

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