BEIRUT

Middle East

Four Islamists killed south of Algiers: ministry

An Algerian army truck near Ain Amenas Sunday Jan. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

ALGIERS: The Algerian army killed four armed Islamists overnight in an ambush south of the capital, the Defence Ministry announced Thursday.

"During an operation carried out by a unit of the ANP (Algerian army)... four terrorists were eliminated at around midnight, during an ambush" on a road near Berrouaghia, in the Medea region, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Algiers, the ministry said.

Weapons recovered by the soldiers included a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Simonov semi-automatic rifle and two grenades.

Last week, the ministry said two jihadist militants were killed in a mountainous part of Medea, which was a heartland of the Islamist insurrection during the devastating civil war of the 1990s.

Violence attributed to Islamists has declined considerably in recent years.

But groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb continue to attack strategic targets in the eastern Kabylie region, around the capital and in the south, where around 40 hostages were killed during the siege of a remote desert gas plant one year ago.

 

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