A suicide car bombing at a police station east of Algeria's capital, Algiers, has killed four police officers and wounded 20 other people.

Witnesses say the bomber rammed the vehicle into the police station early Wednesday morning in the town of Naciria.

The blast destroyed the station's facade and damaged nearby buildings. Eight police officers are among the wounded.

The Al-Arabiya television station reports that al-Qaida's North African branch has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This is the first major incident in Algeria since a double suicide car bombing in Algiers last month. At least 37 people, including 17 staff members of the United Nations, were killed.

Al-Qaida's North African wing also claimed responsibility for those attacks, as well as suicide bombings that killed 33 people in Algiers in April.

The December 11 bombings targeted Algeria's constitutional court and a building housing offices of the U.N. refugee agency and the U.N. Development Program.

Algerian Islamists rose up against the government in 1992 when it scrapped elections that an Islamic party was poised to win. Some militants allied themselves with al-Qaida in late 2006 and began carrying out larger-scale bombings and targeting foreigners.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.