ALGIERS, (Reuters) – Two roadside bombs killed seven people in eastern Algeria late on Thursday, state media reported, hours after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said he would stand for a third term in office.
The first device killed four members of the same family who were passing by in a van, including two women and a baby, official news agency APS cited a security source as saying.
The second exploded moments later when emergency services and security forces arrived. A local official was also badly wounded, APS said.
The attack took place in Foum El-Metlag, a district south of the town of Tebessa near the border with Tunisia.
Al Qaeda’s north African wing has claimed responsibility for a string of bombings in the OPEC member country in recent years.
The group is the remnant of a much broader insurgency that shook Algeria during the 1990s but has largely died out since the government offered successive amnesties to encourage rebels to disarm.
The Tebessa attack, the deadliest reported in half a year, follows a period of relative calm and took place in a region known for cross-border smuggling that has seen Islamist insurgent activity in the past.
Most bombings have taken place in Kabylie, a mountainous region just east of the capital Algiers.
Kabylie is the base of the former Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which adopted the Al Qaeda name two years ago and made a tactical shift from ambushing troops in remote areas to carrying out high-profile urban bombings that claimed many civilian victims.
Bouteflika, who took office in 1999 during the insurgency, told a rally in Algiers on Thursday he would press ahead with a national reconciliation drive if he wins re-election in April.