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Algerian forces avert suicide bomb attack

Algerian forces avert suicide bomb attack


Algerian security forces have shot dead a suicide bomber before he could detonate his explosives.

According to the state news agency, APS, the militant who was wearing a suicide bomb belt had been evading security troops patrolling the mountainous region around Maatkas near Tizi Ouzou where al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is believed to have its stronghold.

The event is said to have happened on Wednesday night.

A security source told APS the would-be bomber was shot as he headed towards the Maatkas police station after he was trapped by the army.

Bombings and other attacks have become rare in Algeria since the country emerged from a war with Islamists in the 1990s which killed 200,000 people.

But al Qaeda’s North Africa branch and Islamic State affiliates operate in remote parts of the vast, oil-exporting country.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb last week claimed a rocket attack on an Algerian gas plant, operated by BP and Statoil with state-owned Sonatrach, though it caused no casualties or notable damage.

The two oil firms said they would pull out some of their foreign staff from the southern gas fields as security precaution.

_Reuters _