ALGIERS — A powerful bomb exploded Wednesday in a crowded Algiers airport terminal, killing nine people and wounding more than 100, Prime Minister Belaid Abdesslam said.
The blast at Houari Boumedienne Airport, filled with summer vacationers, marked the first indiscriminate terrorist attack in the wave of violence that has hit Algeria since authorities launched a crackdown on Muslim radicals in January.
Muslim rebels and government troops have battled around Algeria for months, but no group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, or for a second blast at an airline office in downtown Algiers. A third bomb was defused at the downtown Swissair office.
Screaming passengers fled the airport's international terminal. Weeping children clung to their parents as they sought refuge in the parking lot. Police said the bomb had been placed under chairs where a woman was sitting with her two children.
Many children were among the dead and wounded, witnesses said. Taxis and ambulances ferried the wounded to hospitals in Algiers.
The bomb destroyed the Air France counter, and two of the airline's employees were among the injured.
Abdesslam visited the rubble-strewn terminal and said the bombing "was ordered by a foreign hand, even if those who executed it were Algerian."
"The authors of the act have just declared war on the entire Algerian people," he said. Abdesslam did not elaborate or say what foreign group he thought was involved.
The airport was closed temporarily but international flights later resumed from the domestic terminal.
The second bomb exploded a few minutes later near the Air France office in downtown Algiers. Police evacuated the area three minutes before it went off, Interior Minister Mohammed Hardi said, indicating there had been a warning. There were no injuries.
Algeria has been torn by unrest since the government canceled January's national elections after it became clear that fundamentalist parties were leading. The army later took control of the government, outlawed the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front and arrested thousands of party faithful.