Suicide blast hits Algeria police
Four officers of elite unit among the dead after bomber strikes barracks in Kabylia.
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2010 21:24 GMT
Conflict started in 1992 after the army cancelled the second round of multiparty elections [AFP]

At least nine people have been killed in a village east of the Algeria's capital after a suicide bomber drove a lorry into the barracks of an elite police unit.

The bombing happened on Friday in the town of Timizar in the Kabylia region, police officials said.

The dead included four police officers and a Chinese worker who was involved in the construction of a highway in the area, the officials said.

The suicide bomber died when he drove the vehicle, packed with explosives, into the barracks.

Police then shot and killed two suspected attackers who were following the lorry in another vehicle, the police said.

All of the dead officers belonged to a rapid-reaction unit of the military police, officials said.

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

Security forces killed seven men on Wednesday near the village of Toughrast, located at least 40km north of Kabylie's main town, Tizi Ouzou, a security official said.

Acting on a tip-off from two suspected members of a network that supports armed opposition groups in the region, security forces swooped as the group were preparing to buy supplies, the official said.

Security forces seized automatic weapons, ammunition, food and pharmaceuticals, the official said.

Such attacks in Algeria started in 1992 after the army cancelled the second round of the country's first-ever multiparty elections, stepping in to prevent likely victory by the Islamic Salvation Front, commonly known by its French acronym, FIS.

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

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