Bomber targets police office in eastern Algerian city: state media

ALGIERS (Reuters) - A militant bomber attacked a police station in the eastern Algerian city of Constantine on Sunday but was shot before he could enter the building, state news agency and local media reported.

Officials did not immediately confirm details of the attack, but local private Ennahar TV station reported the bomb exploded and APS state news said the bomber was shot in the attack before he got inside. It was not clear if there were any injured.

“A policeman who was in front of the police station located under in a building with dozens of families, retaliated vigorously..., precisely targeting the explosive belt carried by a terrorist,” APS said citing a police statement.

Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui confirmed an attack to state television, and wished a quick recovery to the wounded without giving any details.

In October, three gunmen shot dead a policeman in a restaurant in northern Constantine in a rare urban attack which sources believe was carried out by a local Islamic State affiliate.

Attacks and bombings have become less common in Algeria since the end of the country’s 1990s war against armed Islamists in which more than 200,000 people died.

But al Qaeda’s North Africa branch and small brigades of Islamic State-allied militants are still active, mostly in remote mountains and the desert south.

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Jason Neely and Alistair Bell