Bomb Explodes Near Algerian Police House, 3 Killed

A bomb hidden in a bag exploded Friday outside a compound housing Algerian police officials east of the capital, killing three people, security officials said.

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

Eight people were wounded, three of whom died later in the hospital, according to a medical official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The other wounded were under hospital observation Friday night.

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

The attack hit about midway between Algiers and the coastal town of Dellys where a car bombing Saturday killed 28 coast guard officers. Two days earlier, at least 22 people were killed when a bomb ripped through a crowd waiting for the president in Batna southeast of the capital.

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.