Algerian forces kills three militants east of capital: army

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 26, 2016 7:19 AM

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria security forces on Saturday killed three Islamist militants close to the town where police shot dead a would-be suicide bomber earlier in the week, the ministry of defense said in a statement.

The three were killed in a military ambush after an army sweep of the forests of Sid Ali Bounab in Tizi Ouzou, part of the mountainous region east of the capital Algiers, it said.

Algerian security forces on Wednesday shot dead a militant wearing a suicide bomb belt before he could detonate his explosives near the police station in a small town of Maatkas also near Tizi Ouzou.

Violence is rarer now in Algeria since the country ended its 1990s war with Islamist fighters that killed 200,000 people. But Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and small bands of fighters allied to Islamic State have been active in remote parts.

The mountains around Tizi Ouzou, 60 miles (100 km) east of Algiers, were formerly a stronghold for commanders of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and previous Islamist militant groups during the 1990s.

(Reporting by Patrick Markey; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)