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The death toll from the attack currently stands at 30.

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The north African branch of Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for that attack and Thursday's apparent assassination attempt on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the eastern city of Batna, Al-Jazeera television reported Sunday citing a statement posted on the Internet from the group.

Civilian casualties

Most who died in Saturday's blast in the port town of Dellys, 70 kilometres east of Algiers, were members of the coastguard, but the interior ministry says three civilians also died and many of the 47 wounded were also civilians.

On Thursday, 22 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when a man exploded a device in a crowd waiting to meet Bouteflika in Batna.

This time, a van normally used to deliver supplies to the barracks smashed through the rear entrance and penetrated 20 metres inside the base before exploding, according to witnesses.

Vehicle hijacked

Initial reports indicated the attackers hijacked the vehicle before packing it full of explosives.

The huge explosion flattened most of the prefabricated buildings that make up the barracks.

Wood, metal and concrete debris, clothing and suitcases were strewn around the port as a fleet of ambulances with sirens wailing picked up the wounded and helicopters buzzed overhead.

Dellys was sealed off and a security cordon thrown around the port as anti-terrorist police sifted through the rubble.

International condemnation

The UN Security Council, former colonial power France, Spain and the European Union all condemned the bombing.

France's new UN Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, who chairs the 15-member council this month, noted that council members on Friday issued a statement condemning "all terrorist acts."

"This condemnation must obviously be reiterated with strength, after the new heinous terrorist attack committed today in Dellys," he says a statement.

No details from Al-Qaeda

Al-Jazeera did not provide any additional details on the statement from the Al-Qaeda Movement in the Islamic Countries of the Maghreb, and it was not immediately possible to obtain a copy.

Islamic militants from Al-Qaeda's self-styled offshoot in north Africa have claimed credit for other recent bombings.

The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) has pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and renamed itself the Al-Qaeda Movement in the Maghreb, sparking Western fears of Islamist militants gaining a toehold in north Africa from which to launch attacks in Europe and beyond.

‘Hopeless attempt’

Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem says: "Those who carried out these attacks have failed for the past 17 years in their hopeless attempt to shake the stability of this country, and they will never succeed.”

Mr Bouteflika went on television after Thursday's attacks to denounce the "criminals" responsible but vowed to pursue his national reconciliation policy.

This initiative is intended to integrate Islamic activists who renounce violence that has rocked the country since the army intervened in 1992 to cancel elections a fundamentalist party was poised to win.

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