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Algeria in the way to double the numbers of its anti-terror security forces, interior minister said

Following the recent attack and killing of four policemen this month when a suicide car-bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a police station in Naciria, east of Algiers, Zerhouni said that recent suicide bombings in Algeria were "spectacular terrorist attacks", adding that "terrorist groups choose easy methods in their attacks and that the anti-terror security forces in Algeria will double the numbers of their agents following a raft of terrorist attacks in these recent weeks, he said.

The interior minister added that also "extraordinary" security measures had been installed in the Sahara regions, "notably at airports and other sensitive sites".

"The plan for strengthening our security services, begun in 2005, is now in a phase of acceleration, which will allow security services to double their numbers," said Zerhouni on the sidelines of a visit by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to the country's Saharan Tamanrasset region.

A series of attacks in recent months blamed on Islamist militants have destabilised the North African country, which waged a bitter civil war against Islamists in the 1990s that left more than 150,000 people dead.

Djanet airport in the Algerian Sahara was the scene of an attack on a military transport plane in November, according to press reports. There was no claim of responsibility, and official sources have yet to confirm the attack -- which reportedly claimed no victims -- took place.

That came after twin suicide car bomb attacks in Algiers on December 11, in which 41 people were killed, including 17 United Nations staff. Al-Qaeda's Branch in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for all these attacks.

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