BREAKING: Multiple Policemen DEAD… Here’s What We Know

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ALGIERS, Algeria — Police officials in Algeria say that an Armed militant wearing an explosives belt killed two policemen while attacking a local police headquarters in western Algeria.

One officer jumped on the attacker to protect his colleagues from the blast.

Authorities report that a 23-year-old man fired at police officers guarding the headquarters in the city of Tiaret on Thursday as he tried to enter the building and set off his explosive device.

One of the policemen had time to shoot back and kill the attacker before dying himself from his wounds. Another policeman was killed.

Attacks and bombings have become rarer in Algeria since the end of the country’s 1990s war against armed Islamists, but al Qaeda and small brigades of militants tied to Islamic State are still active and often target armed forces, Reuters reports.

Another officer who was wounded in the blast later died, the national police said in a statement.

The Islamic State jihadist group, in a posting on its Telegram site, said “a martyrdom-seeker” from IS “detonated his explosive belt near an Algerian security headquarters” in Tiaret, according to the US monitor, SITE Intelligence Group.

It was the first suicide attack in months in Algeria. Another militant tried to blow himself up at a police station in Constantine in April.

Gunmen attacked an Algerian military patrol in an area south of the capital in June, slightly wounding four gendarmes, in an attack later claimed by Islamic State.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the group’s North Africa branch, is still active in Algeria, but small groups of militants loyal to Islamic State have also been carrying out more recent attacks.

In February, a policeman foiled an attempted suicide attack on a police station in the eastern city of Constantine by opening fire on the approaching assailant and triggering the explosives belt he was wearing, according to NEWS 24 Africa.

That attack was also claimed by ISIS.

“Vigilance seems to have been stepped down. We had a feeling that this was coming,” a former security services official said after Thursday’s bombing, asking not to be named.

He told AFP it was probably the work of Algerian members of IS who had fled countries where the jihadists were under increased military pressure.

Algerians had hoped that a 2005 peace and reconciliation charter would turn the page on a 1991-2002 civil war between Islamists and security forces that cost 200 000 lives.

But Islamist groups remain active in some areas, especially in southern and eastern Algeria, mostly targeting the police and army.

Dozens of armed Islamists have been killed in sweeps by Algerian security forces this year.

The deadliest post-civil war clash dates back to March 2013, when al-Qaeda-linked militants stormed the In Amenas gas plant in southeast Algeria, resulting in 40 hostages and 29 assailants killed in a rescue operation by Algerian troops.

This is insanity.

God Bless.

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