The powerful chief of Algeria's national police was shot and killed by a colleague during a meeting Thursday in his office at the North African country's security headquarters, a law enforcement official said.

Two others were injured, including a security chief for the Algiers region, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to give information to the media.

Ali Tounsi's attacker turned his weapon on himself afterward, the official said. Reports differed about whether he survived.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the attacker, an unidentified police colonel, died after shooting himself. Algeria's APS national news agency, citing an Interior Ministry statement, said he was seriously injured and was taken to a hospital.

A judicial inquiry has been opened into the shooting, APS said, adding that the attacker had been seized by a "fit of madness."

Tounsi was among the most powerful security officials in Algeria and played a key role in the fight against Islamist insurgents who almost brought the North African nation to its knees in the 1990s.

Sporadic terror attacks continue, despite President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's national reconciliation plan aimed at luring extremists out of their holdouts and getting them to lay down their arms and reintegrate society.

The Algerian media have reported for months that Tounsi had tense relations with Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni, who oversees the nation's police. But the minister does not appear to have been at Thursday's meeting.