ISIL. AFP PHOTO / HO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA<br />The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility on Monday for a suicide bomb attack in east Algeria which police said had been foiled.
In a statement posted on the internet, the group said a “martyrdom-seeking brother” had been able to detonate an “explosives-laden bag” at a police station in the city of Constantine.
The jihadist group said “a number of apostates” were killed and wounded in Sunday’s attack.
Police officials said a policeman managed to foil the attack, opening fire on the bomber and triggering the explosives belt he was wearing.
National police said the attacker had been approaching the police station when he was shot by the officer.
At the time of the foiled attack around 9:00 pm (2000 GMT), a loud explosion was heard near the police station in central Constantine, national news agency APS reported.
Two officers were injured in the explosion, according to local reports.
Last week, the army said it had killed 14 “terrorists”, a term used to refer to armed Islamists in Algeria, during a major search operation in the Bouira region, 125 kilometres (77 miles) southeast of Algiers.
Despite a 2005 charter for peace and reconciliation designed to turn the page on Algeria’s brutal 1991-2002 civil war that cost 200,000 lives, Islamist groups remain active in the south and east, largely targeting security forces.