The group formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) seems to be intensifying its activity. “Algeria hit by bombings, six dead,” by Larbi Louafi and Zohra Bensemra for Reuters:
SI MUSTAFA, Algeria (Reuters) – Seven bombs went off almost simultaneously in Algeria on Tuesday, killing six people east of the capital Algiers in an elaborate assault by suspected Islamist rebels.
Residents said four of the attacks targeted police stations.
“I was woken by a huge blast. I thought it was an earthquake,” said Aaref Jumaa, a resident of Si Mustafa village close to Boumerdes town 50 km (30 miles) east of Algiers.
The Al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, previously known as Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), claimed responsibility for the bombs in a statement posted on the Internet and said it had targeted police stations.
The authenticity of the statement, posted on a Web site used by Islamist militants including al Qaeda, could not be verified.
The group has stepped up a campaign of bombings and ambushes in recent months.
An Interior Ministry statement quoted by the official APS news agency said six people, including two members of the security forces, were killed in seven attacks in the Boumerdes and Tizi Ouzou districts east of Algiers.
Thirteen people were wounded, including 10 members of the security forces, the ministry said, adding that five of the seven bombs were rigged in vehicles.
Four people were killed in Si Mustafa village while two were killed in Meklaa, it said. Other bombs blasted Draa Benkheda, Meklaa, Illoula Oumalou and Souk El Had, which was hit twice.
Jumaa, standing near the blast-pocked walls of Si Mustafa’s police station, said the bomb went off at 4:15 a.m. (0315 GMT) beside the building, which is across the street from his home.
In Draa Benkheda, a resident who declined to be identified said he saw several presumed attackers filming the immediate aftermath of the blast.