Algeria: 5 police killed in attack by Islamists

Suspected Islamic militants attacked a police checkpoint in Algeria with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns Sunday, killing five officers and injuring three others, according to a newspaper report. Algeria's Kabylie region, east of the capital Algiers, has faced a recent upsurge of violence by a Salafist group that claims ties to al-Qaida, including seven car bombings on Feb. 13. In Sunday's attack, assailants are said to have fired a grenade on a police sport utility vehicle at a key highway crossroads as officers were changing shifts, setting the vehicle ablaze, daily Liberte reported. A second SUV came under machine-gun fire, Liberte reported in an article to be published Monday, citing witness accounts. Security forces dispatched reinforcements, prompting a two-hour firefight. It was not immediately clear whether any of the assailants were detained or injured.