A homemade bomb blast killed five civilians and wounded three others in eastern Algeria on Thursday, the defense ministry said.
The roadside bomb went off as a car drove by in the region of Tebessa, the ministry said in a statement.
It added that an extremist was killed by security forces in the neighboring region of Khenchela, but it was not immediately clear if the two incidents were related.
“Following an ambush in Oued Boudekhane... in Khenchela prefecture, a detachment of the People’s National Armed Forces shot dead... a dangerous terrorist,” the statement said.
A machine gun, ammunition, and cell phones as well as a radio transmitter were recovered during the operation, the defense ministry said, adding that the operation was still ongoing.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune denounced the attack in Tebessa as a “cowardly and barbaric act.”
Tebboune, who has returned to Germany for treatment of post-Covid-19 complications, also sent his condolences to the families of the five Algerians killed.
General Said Chengriha, the army's chief of staff, meanwhile urged Algerians to be “vigilant” and to avoid going to regions considered unsafe.
Algerian authorities use the term “terrorist” to describe armed Islamists who have been active in the country since the early 1990s.