Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which was previously known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), have carried out a number of recent bombings in the country in recent years.

The group has been fighting government forces since the army cancelled legislative elections in 1992 that an Islamist party was poised to win. About 200,000 are believed to have been killed in the resulting violence.

The number of attacks had been falling before they increased dramatically after the GSPC declared their allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2006.

The group is believed to be based in the Berber-speaking Kabylie region, in which Tizi Ouzou is the main town.

Many attacks in Algeria have targeted the national security services and, while others have struck foreigners.

Earlier this month, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up in Lakhdaria, also east of Algiers, injuring 13 soldiers.