Algerian security services have foiled an attempted attack on a mall in Setif, southeast of the capital Algiers, by an Islamist armed group, state media reported on Wednesday.
The state-run newspaper, El Massa reported that the attack was planned by a group which included eight people killed in a military ambush on May 31 near Guelta Zerka, 40 km east of Setif.
According to security sources, the attackers are linked to the Islamic State group (IS) in Libya, El Massa reports.
The Park Mall at Setif, which is 300km southeast of Algiers, attracts about 5,000 visitors a day, the paper said.
The group is believed to have planned to carry out the attack during the month of Ramadan which began on June 6.
Islamist armed groups intensify their attacks during Ramadan, considering it a time for jihad. On Tuesday evening, there were a multiple suicide bomb and gun attacks on Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport leaving at least 36 dead and nearly 150 others wounded.
In March this year, Algerian security forces shot dead a suicide bomber before he could detonate his explosives at the mountainous region around Maatkas near Tizi Ouzou, which is believed to be the stronghold of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Islamist armed groups remain active in the east and south of the country and mainly target security forces.