ALGIERS, (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed himself and two other people at the gate of a government security post in eastern Algeria on Saturday, a local security official said.
The bomber tried to storm the post in the town of Tadmait, about 70 km (49 miles) east of Algiers, but a guard spotted him and shot him, the official and witnesses told Reuters. “The bomber blew himself as the guard aimed his gun at him. He was killed, and he killed the guard and a woman who happened to be passing by,” the official said.
Islamic rebels have stepped up attacks in OPEC-member Algeria since last month before presidential elections scheduled for April 9. It follows a pattern of violence before similar political events with the aim of embarrassing the authorities. The death toll from political violence in Algeria more than doubled to 33 in February after rebels stepped up attacks.
Algeria was plunged into violence in 1992 after the then military-backed government scrapped a parliamentary election which a radical Islamist party was poised to win. But the insurgency, in which more 150,000 people were killed, has largely died out since the government offered successive amnesties to encourage rebels to disarm.