ALGIERS, Algeria, June 18 (UPI) -- Officials in Algeria announced they will mobilize more than 5,000 officers within the next year as militant groups linked to al-Qaida killed scores of police.
Suspected al-Qaida militants attacked a convoy headed to a police barracks in southeast Algiers that was escorting Chinese construction workers.
Militants detonated two roadside bombs and then opened fire on the police, killing at least 24 officers.
Energy-rich Algeria has struggled with militancy for decades. Militants operating under the banner of al-Qaida have claimed recent attacks in the North African nation.
Col. Youcef Boulessnane, the head of the training department for the Algerian gendarmerie, said he would mobilize another 5,600 officers over the course of the next year, the Algerian newspaper the Daily Dawn reports.
"Two training centers in southern Algeria will train gendarmes mobilized as border guards," he said.
Meanwhile, security services claimed to have dismantled a terrorist cell in west Algeria, arresting three members of a seven-member unit.
Security sources told the Daily Dawn the detained militants were members of al-Qaida Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, a terrorist group seeking to establish an Islamic state in Algeria.