Algeria A group linked to al-Qaida staged seven near-simultaneous bomb attacks Tuesday, targeting police in several towns east of Algiers and killing six people, officials said.
Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa - the new name for the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, known by its French acronym GSPC - claimed responsibility for the attacks. The group allied itself with al-Qaida last year, raising the stakes in the region's fight against terrorism.
The seven bombings, some of them car explosions, hit the Kabylie region east of Algiers between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday, the state news agency said.
The apparently coordinated attacks surprised the North African country, which has steadily emerged from an Islamic insurgency that killed more than 150,000 people in the 1990s. While scattered violence by the GSPC continues, such carefully planned strikes are rare in today's Algeria, an ally in the U.S.-led war against terrorism.